Senator warns Gunatanamo Bay still a threat to Fort Leavenworth
Leavenworth — U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., has been voicing his strong opinion against bringing the detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Fort Leavenworth, and during a trip here this week, he continued making his voice heard.
Roberts conducted a town hall meeting May 27 on the subject with some of the people who would be directly affected by the move. Roberts said he wanted to make sure the people of Leavenworth “understand the seriousness of the threat that still exists.
“Announcing that he is going to close Gitmo first without a plan as to what to do with the terrorists has caused a firestorm out here, and I think it is a well-deserved firestorm,” Roberts said about President Barack Obama’s executive order to close the prison.
For about 90 minutes, Roberts gave his thoughts to a room of around 200 concerned residents and then responded to their questions.
Roberts said he wasn’t worried the Army wouldn’t be able to handle the detainees at Fort Leavenworth but said the Army shouldn’t have to, especially when it would cost a lot of taxpayer money to properly modify the fort’s existing U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, and it could endanger the relationships with other countries that send their military officers to the Command and General Staff College at the fort.
Many of the residents who asked questions were worried about how safe the area would be if the detainees were moved.
Sharon Evans, Roeland Park, wanted to know why the Obama administration was thinking about moving the detainees to the United States because she said the one action the federal government could take was to keep U.S. residents safe.
“They won’t close our borders, and they are letting these people cross the border who come from terrorist countries who want to hurt us,” Evans said. “These people are evil, and I think our federal government should stand up and protect us.”
Others said they thought world opinion had a hand in Obama’s decision to close Gitmo, and that the world’s opinion shouldn’t matter.
Roberts agreed but said he wanted to give the president the benefit of the doubt because he believed Obama thought he was acting in the country’s best interest.