[Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued the following comment Tuesday after President Barack Obama reiterated his position that the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should be closed -- a view that Leahy has long shared.]
"I remain deeply concerned that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay remains open, and that Congress continues to stand in the way of closing it. As the President again has acknowledged, it is unnecessary, expensive and inefficient. More importantly, it is not necessary to keep America safe, it contradicts our most basic principles of justice, and in fact it undermines our national security. In the years since Congress first blocked resolving this, the reasons for closing it have only multiplied. The deteriorating situation at Guantanamo, including the ongoing and expanding hunger strikes by prisoners -- many of whom have never been convicted of any crime and are eligible for release -- is disturbing and unacceptable. It is a stark reminder of why Guantanamo must be closed as soon as possible."