April 21st, 2009
03:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Top Republican lawmaker warns against closing Gitmo

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his concerns Tuesday about President Obama's timeline to close the Guantanamo Bay prison by January.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his concerns Tuesday about President Obama's timeline to close the Guantanamo Bay prison by January.

(CNN) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his concerns on the Senate floor Tuesday about President Obama's timeline to close the Guantanamo Bay prison by January 2010.

The Kentucky Republican senator warned the administration about closing the detention center without a plan detailing where the current detainees will be relocated or released.

"Americans want some assurances that closing Guantanamo won't make them less safe - and for good reason," McConnell said in his opening remarks on the Senate floor. "The administration needs to tell the American people what it plans to do with these men if they close Guantanamo."

President Obama's war funding request for more than $80 billion includes funds to close the U.S. detention facility in Cuba, but McConnell said the administration lacks a clear plan regarding where to place the "most dangerous men alive."

"The administration has made a priority of closing Guantanamo. But its first priority should be to assure the American people that the detainees at Gitmo will never again be able to harm innocent people," McConnell said.

The Obama administration has not announced what it officially plans to do with the more than 200 detainees at Guantanamo Bay, but the president is seeking third-party countries to take in some of the inmates. In an April meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Europe, Sarkozy offered to accept one detainee.

Filed under: Guantanamo Bay • Mitch McConnell
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Kevin B

    Boy!! Doesn't this guy look creepy.............? He just may be the most dangerous man alive.

    April 21, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. Really

    "the most dangerous men alive!"...really? Who are we housing down there...Lex Luthor? Seriously. If our jails can house mass murderers, gangbangers, and rapists, then they can house a street thug who hates America from BFE.

    April 21, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. Melissa

    Why are Republicans always so against doing whats right? They just hate everything. Warmongering, selfishness, hate, divisiveness... all of them are traits of Republicanism. I don't get it.

    April 21, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. gary davis

    mcConnel McCain Cheney

    the three stooges .. nothing left to do but complain about the new leadership.

    eight years of crap and they still bury their heads in the dirt .

    when the the country gets back on it feet and the programs that are being installed begin to work and the GOP falls on it nose .our country and the world will be alot better off.

    most americans and most of the world agree with President Obama . maybe 10% of the blow hards are yaking on the news .
    the news media should just turn away from listening to them . and produce positive stories .

    April 21, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. jim

    what can i say mcconnel is a joke.just like the rest of right wingers.boerner included.what a picture.what finger does he have up.

    April 21, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. Mark C.

    Mitch then went on for the next ten minutes to say...

    "Back in my day we could hold people in the dungeon forever on circumstantial finger-pointing and we liked it! You had to sacrifice potentially innocent civilians to being held without papers or trial for the rest of their lives! You young people with your due processes and your fair trials and your rules of evidence and your FM radio and your rules against torture and your fast cars and your religions that aren't evangelical Christian..."

    The senator continued to ramble until it was time for his nap.

    April 21, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  7. gewe

    the cia payed 5000 dollars a head guilty or not

    April 21, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. Which Will Become Extinct First? Elephants or Rotting on the Vine Rushpublicans?

    Why does Mitch McConnell always look like he's just removed his finger from Rush Limbaugh's behind?

    April 21, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. tennisguypitt

    One more thing... what do you plan to do?

    April 21, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. alvino

    Gitmo is all the gop has left; other than tax cuts, treason (secession), and torture.

    April 21, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  11. Jerry

    Let's pack them up and confine them in America's finest. Ft. Knox

    April 21, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  12. RUTY

    I think we need to lock up a bunch of republicans at Gitmo–namely McConnell, Rush Windbag, Bush, Cheney, Hannity, McCain, Huckabee to name a few –then throw away the key.

    April 21, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
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