House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill. In his words:
"There is a clear contrast between President Obama and the House. While we continue to pass bills to keep Americans safer, the president is presenting an unlawful and unwise plan to close Guantanamo
"Simply put, the president’s track record of releasing detainees is atrocious. Many of the detainees he has released have rejoined the fight and pose a significant threat to the homeland. These are not “low-level” terrorists as the administration has claimed.
For example, Ibrahim al Qosi, a senior al Qaeda operative and close associate of Osama bin Laden, was transferred from Guantanamo in 2012. Since then, he has not only joined al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, but has become one of its leaders. In December, al Qosi urged Muslims to carry out deadly attacks on the U.S., specifically New York City.
He is not the only one.
At least three of “Taliban Five” released in return for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl have “re-engaged” with their old terrorist organizations. Prior to the exchange all of these detainees were deemed “high risks” to the U.S. and its allies by the Joint Task Force Guantanamo.
"To make matters worse, last month Spanish and Moroccan police arrested a former detainee who is suspected of being part of an ISIS cell in North Africa. Authorities described him as “a leader who was trained in handling weapons, explosives, and military tactics.” These are exactly the kind of people we shouldn’t let out into the world or into our country.
According to James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, 196 former detainees are either confirmed or suspected of returning to the fight. That's a recidivism rate of nearly 30 percent. This is unacceptable.
The best place for Guantanamo detainees is in Guantanamo. Congress will continue to fight against the president’s desire take us back to the failed pre-9/11 law enforcement approach to counterterrorism. We have passed and President Obama has signed legislation barring him from moving detainees to the United States. Even Obama’s own Attorney General Loretta Lynch, reiterated it would be illegal for the president to transferring detainees to the U.S.
Congress is resolute. We will not sacrifice U.S. national security for the sake of a misguided campaign pledge. That is why we are forever indebted to the service of the 120 men and women in the 422nd Military Police Company who will serve as guards during their one-year deployment at Guantanamo Bay.