Sen. Brownback Seeks Study on Detainee Transfer

By: AP
By: AP

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A Kansas senator wants to require President
Barack Obama to give Congress a 90-day notice before moving to
close the detainee prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Republican Sen. Sam Brownback introduced a bill Wednesday. It also would require the president to provide a study regarding the feasibility of closing Guantanamo or transferring the detainees to any other location.

“We cannot afford to make snap decisions about detainee policy, and the American people should be able to judge any policy changes for themselves,” Brownback said in a statement. “This legislation would require an open and comprehensive review of the factors related to moving the Guantanamo detainees.”

One site often mentioned is the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, along with Camp Pendleton, Calif., and a Navy brig in South Carolina.

Under Brownback's bill, a feasibility study of alternative locations must include specifics as to: space available; comingling; security personnel requirements; upgrade costs of current facilities compared to building a new facility; proximity to private land, civilian populations, and other military activities or base missions; an assessment of on-site facilities such as medical care, firefighters, and space for legal proceedings; and alternative sites such as facilities recently closed through BRAC or international options.

“I am confident that such a review would reveal that Fort Leavenworth is not an appropriate location for housing terrorist detainees," Brownback said in a statement. "Housing detainees at Fort Leavenworth is unwise and unsafe. The base is not equipped to handle the transfer of Guantanamo detainees and there is still no answer on how to avoid comingling prisoners and detainees, which is against the law.”

The Associated Press obtained a copy of a draft executive order being prepared by the Obama administration. It orders the Pentagon to close Guantanamo within a year, but doesn't specify where the detainees would be transferred.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
13 News contributed to this report.

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