The president is so desperate to close our detention facility at Guantanamo Bay before leaving office that his administration has resorted to misleading Congress. In fact, the administration knowingly approved the transfer of Gitmo detainees to countries incapable of preventing their return to terrorism.
Federal law requires the administration to regularly inform Congress whether a country that accepts former Gitmo detainees can effectively mitigate the risk of these terrorists returning to the battlefield. At a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing this March, Specials Envoys for Guantanamo Closure Paul Lewis and Lee Wolosky denied that the administration ever knowingly released detainees to a country without proper safeguards in place.
It turns out that’s completely false.
Classified administration reports provided to Congress over the past three years indicate that many countries were egregiously unsuited to prevent recidivism. Yet with clear knowledge of these deficiencies—and the fact that nearly one-third of freed detainees reengage in terrorism—the administration approved these transfers. In fact, Mr. Wolosky himself even admitted that “there have been Americans that have died because of Gitmo detainees.”
This is not just about misleading Congress—this is about our national security. This is about an administration more concerned with clinching a political victory than protecting the American people.
That’s why the House is acting this week to renew stringent laws regarding the transfer of Gitmo terrorists, including a longstanding prohibition on relocating detainees to American soil. We are committed to holding this administration accountable for its negligent and politically-motivated actions, which have already cost innocent people their lives.
NOTE: House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), who made this revelation yesterday, has called on the administration to correct the false record provided by its officials in March.