November 19, 2013

Kaine Statement On Guantanamo Bay Amendments To NDAA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement today after voting on amendments to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act regarding Guantanamo Bay. 

“Today I voted against an amendment to the defense bill that would have had the practical effect of keeping Guantanamo open indefinitely. After visiting the prison this summer, and after extensive discussion with our military leaders, I support common-sense provisions that allow the Administration flexibility in transferring detainees to other countries or imprisoning them in the United States, when it is in our national security interest to do so.  That is why I supported the bipartisan amendment put forward by Senators Levin and McCain.”  

“The original reason for opening Guantanamo – that detainees would not be able to challenge their detention – was found unconstitutional five years ago.  Guantanamo does not make us safer.  Instead it is a symbol for terrorist recruitment.

“Guantanamo is also expensive. During a time of budget constraints and uncertainty, we continue to spend almost $1 million per prisoner at Guantanamo. The Department of Defense estimates that we must spend another $200 million to keep the facility open. It is time for Congress to take critical steps forward in bringing detainees to justice, and providing a potential path to close Guantanamo in a responsible and safe way.”