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tv   US Senate  CSPAN  February 23, 2016 7:49pm-8:01pm EST

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>> senator pat roberts opposes president obama's plan to close the guantánamo bay prison. he took to twitter today sending a video crumpling up a piece of paper supposed to be the president's plan and throwing it in the trash. kansas republican went to the senate floor. >> as president i rise today to speak about president obama's plan to move guantánamo bay terrorist to the united states. however it is not much of a plan, with all due respect, it is more of a failed attempt at a failed campaign promise. in my view what he believes will secure his legacy. and fortunately for us, those who believe moving dangerous enemy combatants within our communities is dangerous, irresponsible, and an illogical idea. the president's plan contains nothing of substance. in. in fact it fails to recommend an
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alternative to any location to any current facility at all. as a matter fact i call that a win. the plan does not provide any intelligence to substantiate the president's claim nor does it even provide a chart or graph to support the mathematics on the alleged cost savings. there is no estimate regarding the cost to local and state government to support such a move. indeed the nine page report is short in every regard. the white house received the department of defense results of their site surveys and other data regarding potential closing last month. and what this, and i'm holding up the report here, this is all we have in return. nine pages, and bubbly about ten-point may be less, single spaced. this what we have in return.
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i know the chairman of the senate armed chairman services, my good friend kollek senator john mccain is not good to be pleased with the lack of substance or data, or the articulation of a real plan. the same goes for senator richard burr, chairman of the intelligence committee who at this particular time is going to be introducing legislation of his own. in order to provide intelligence with regards to the administration's lack of of intelligence on moving 18 detainees to the united states. mr. president, the lack of a plan and the inability of this administrations to provide a site alternative indicate that none of the sites visited by dod survey team met the demands necessary to hold detainees, and and more important to keep our communities safe. the fact that no site was named, no substance on those visits provided tell me there is no alternative to match what we are now doing safely and securely at
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gitmo. the so-called planned as outlined by the president and his speech today from the white house, it skims over four steps to closing guantánamo bay. first, it articulates the administration's plan to continue moving detainees designate for transfer by the president's national security team to foreign countries. in some instances this may have been successful but with regard to individuals a being rehabilitated about one third of the time d trainees transfer to the host countries a return to the battlefield. these are are just the ones we know about. surely that percentage would increase. this is called recidivism. the rates are too high for this process to be called secure and responsible as the administration has labeled it. second, the administration plans to continue its review of the threat posed by those detainees
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who are not currently held for transfer to the periodic review board. this is to provide a new review on the current population of detainees who have been deemed too dangerous to transfer. deemed too dangerous to transfer area yet, this president wants to give them a second shot at getting out. mr. president, this does not make any sense. terrorist are not criminals as much as this president would like to believe, terrorists are not equal to the inmates we have across america's prison system. they are fixated on the destruction of america, they have no regard for life, that of their own and especially not the lives of innocent civilians. the report honed in on having a detainee population anywhere from 30-60. there seems to be an assumption on the part of the president that the review board will
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determine half of those deemed too dangerous for transfer or release are suddenly safe for transfer or release. does the president believe this is possible? or does this assumption simply serve his on means to create soft cost savings for a plan that can never be realized. the plan also fails to account for the fact that our nation is still mired on the war and terrorism. were fighting to ensure terrorism does not prevail. but what about the individuals we detain from this day forward? what about those individuals with critical information related to the next terrorist threat? how can we operate a facility like guantánamo bay to hold terrace we take off the battlefield? there, the plan attempts to identify individual dispositions one by one, for those who remain
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designated for continued lower detention to include article three, military commissions or form prosecutions. what a model. in his remarks today president obama advocated for trying terrace of suspects in article three courts. the the president name to american citizens, to a articulate his point, both of these individuals were apprehended in the united states, not in the battlefield. the intent of the guantánamo detention facility is to protect the american people by removing terrorist from the battlefield. as the united states faces a growing terrorist threat from organization like isis, which have tens of thousands of members, bringing those terrorists to the united states to stand trial simply cannot be the answer. it is not safe for the american people and irresponsible to our
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national security. fourth part of the plan. the plan states the ministrations desire to work with congress, to lift unnecessary prohibitions in the law. work with congress. now there is something unique for the president. work with congress to lift unnecessary prohibitions in current law. it is not anywhere in its nine pages endorse a specific facility to house guantánamo detainees. rather the plan describes a prototype for a detention facility in the united states. not kansas, not colorado, not south carolina, not anywhere in the united states. the president's long-awaited plan is to work with congress to identify the most appropriate
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location as soon as possible according to the terms of provided by the department of defense. question, how could it take seven years to arrive at the idea to work with congress? what a novel idea. but only for this express purpose. if the president have it a suitable alternative he would have provided it in this plan. if. if he had a suitable alternative he would have presented it in 191990 when we started the plan. the plan fails to substantiate president obama's repeated claims that the guantánamo bay serves as a recruiting tool for jihadists, a rallying point for terrorist attacks, hindering hindering relations without allies, draining the department of defense resources. my goodness. i wrote the defense secretary
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carter and i have done so in the past with previous secretaries in november. to ask for intelligence reports, or data to support many of these after tatian's. i asked secretary carter if an intelligence assessment has been done in conjunction with the site surveys recently conducted by the department of defense. from the safety of our communities standpoint. i asked for the departments rationale for evaluating fort leavenworth when three previous evaluations have made it abundantly clear it is, and continues to be an unacceptable alternative. i asked if there were intelligence products regarding previous site evaluations at fort leavenworth. the administration has argued that guantánamo is a recruiting tool for terrorists. so i logically asked for for an intelligence assessment to support that argument. as a follow along i asked what assessment has been done to
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reflect that guantánamo has increased terrorist recruitment. finally, mr. president was there any and all data to to support the administration's argument that national security threats will decrease if enemy combines are held in the united states, common sense will tell you that it would increase. two months later the response confirmed my assumptions. the department of defense had no intelligence products. none. no intelligence products, no data to provide to support the president's argument that gitmo serves as a recruiting tool and that moving detainees to the mainland would increase security and decrease the terrorist threat to the united states and all of the other claims. my colleagues, this plan really confirms what many of us already know. there is no safe alternative. not in kansas, not in colorado, not in south carolina, nowhere
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on the mainland is there a secure and responsible alternative. if there were, this president would not have failed to articulate it in his plan. mr. president, a plan that is a legacy speech does not safeguard the lives of the american people. i yield the floor. >> tonight on c-span two, secretary of state john kerry testifies before the senate foreign relations committee. then an update from the white house on the fight against isis. senators discuss the vacancy of the supreme court and senate republicans decision not to consider any nominee from president obama. >> the obama administration proposed 2017 budget the state department would be allocated 50 billion dollars. john kerry carey answer questions about the departmentge

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