GOP Leaders Urge Caution on Guantanamo Bay

Posted January 22, 2009 at 12:11pm

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday stopped short of saying that President Barack Obama should hold off on closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center, but he urged caution given the number of prisoners who would be displaced.

“I believe they have been treated fairly in terms of how you deal with these legal cases, but the big concern is how do you come up with a policy that says‘We are going to close Guantanamo’ without having a policy in place about what you are going to do with those that are there, and what do you do with other terrorists that we may pick up around the world on the battlefields of Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere,” Boehner said.

Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) echoed Boehner’s concerns, saying that moving suspected terrorists inside the borders of the U.S. posed a massive security risk.

“Actively moving terrorists inside our borders weakens our security, raises far more questions than it answers and is the wrong track for our nation,” Cantor said. “Most families neither want nor need hundreds of terrorists seeking to kill Americans in their communities.”

Obama signed an executive order Thursday to close Guantanamo Bay, fulfilling one of his key campaign promises. Obama has decried the Bush administration’s controversial policies related to detainees and has said he would work swiftly to reverse them.