Kansas officials continue to be concerned that President Obama will seek to move detainees now held at the Guantanamo Bay facility to the mainland — and possibly Leavenworth — in the final weeks of his administration.
On Tuesday, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmitt joined his counterparts in Colorado and South Carolina in sending a letter to President-elect Donald Trump seeking action. Specifically, the attorneys general urged Trump to “raise this issue personally with President Obama and procure his commitment that the outgoing administration will not seek to close Guantanamo or transfer any current detainees to our homeland.”
Facilities at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Colorado; and South Carolina have been identified a potential sites for any detainees moved from Guantanamo Bay.
Kansas officials have long opposed such a move, citing security concerns.
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“President Obama has been steadfast in his commitment to close Guantanamo in order to fulfill his long-time promise,” the attorneys general wrote to the president-elect. “Until the President has withdrawn his Executive Order, we would be derelict to accept conclusory press reports and assume he will leave office with Guantanamo operational. There remains a very real possibility the President may choose to push beyond his executive authority and move these terrorists to our country.
“As chief legal officers of Colorado, Kansas and South Carolina, we ask you to ensure detainees are not transferred to the United States. … We remain committed to exercising all legal options available to us to stop any effort to transfer detainees to American soil.”