U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell today made the following comments on the President's latest Guantanamo Bay detainee policy:
"The administration's earlier decision to bring the 9/11 plotters into our communities for civilian trials was a horrible idea that rightly drew widespread opposition. As I've said repeatedly, Guantanamo is a safe and secure, state-of-the-art facility where we can detain and try enemy combatants far from our communities without civic disruption and risk of on-site retaliation. Now that the administration has agreed to restart the military commissions system, I hope we will promptly initiate proceedings against 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other foreign terrorists who would do America harm so we can make today's determination a reality rather than just a policy statement.
"President Obama has consistently stated that an overarching goal of the United States is to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to prevent its capacity to threaten America and its allies from either country in the future. The overall result of the collection of Executive Orders issued by the President on January 22, 2009, has been to weaken the ability of our country to detain and interrogate members of al Qaeda and associated groups. The administration's stated goal of closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, a decision reached prior to any study of the threat posed by releasing the detainees, has created a harmful obstacle to adding to the detainee population.
"Now, more than two years after his ill-advised ban on the holding of military commission trials at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the President has signed a new Executive Order permitting these proceedings to go forward. This Nation remains at war and if we are to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda we should provide our warfighters and intelligence professionals with all of the necessary tools to capture, kill, detain and interrogate terrorists. The President should rescind the Executive Orders of his first days in office to further this objective."