“It is difficult to support a plan that does not yet exist.”
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), chairman of the Judiciary Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee at an oversight hearing today for the Department of Justice, urged Attorney General Holder to expedite completion of the long-awaited plan for dealing with terrorist detainees who will neither be tried nor released, and for closing the Guantánamo Bay facility where many are now held.
“As a symbol that has been used to recruit and to rally potential terrorists against the United States, as well as a budget matter, Guantánamo Bay has to close as quickly and as responsibly as possible. The Obama Administration clearly inherited this problem, but it is theirs to deal with now. We need both a policy and a plan that upholds the rule of law and our values while keeping the American people safe from harm. We also need to openly engage the international community – as recommended by the 9/11 Commission – as we develop and attempt to implement a process for dealing with detainees too dangerous to release while we are still at war.
“I was pleased to support the President more than a year ago when he voiced a clear policy re-establishing the rule of law in our nation and setting us on a path toward closing GTMO. My recent trip to Guantánamo, just two weeks ago, reinforced this position, but we need a concrete plan to make this policy more than a concept. This is a complicated matter that needs to be done appropriately and effectively, but continued delay will not help us in our fight against the terrorists who attacked us and those who support them, and continued delay will not restore our leadership position among nations.”