April 21st, 2009
03:00 PM ET
9 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. Veronica

    Yawn. All this GOP whining is very old, very tired, and very boring.

    April 21, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. Shawn

    Who cares what this dumb turtle says?

    The US will move beyond the evil and horrendous tactics, torture and war crimes of the previous administration, and what right-wing nobodies have to say about it is irrelevant.

    April 21, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Ronald Burcham

    What is the purpose in closing Gitmo. I don't think the "American Public" sees the point in bringing these criminals into America for holding or trial.

    April 21, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. Mark WI.

    Did McConnell worry about the waterboarding of the detainees under the Bush administration? Don't think so. This is just another bad attempt at trying to gain back some political "moxy".

    April 21, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. Tulsa

    lol... Same old Republicans saying the same worn out lies.


    Well suck on this Republican chickens, "Americans are not afraid. To use great words, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

    You will not frighten me with your lies and hatred. We see through your deception and you gimmicks to sway the people. They will not work.

    Go away and don't darken the good soil of this country again.

    April 21, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Chi Town

    Ahhh heck... just tell them you're sorry... give them a severance package and let them go.

    Maybe free citizenship and a house in Martha's Vinyard.

    April 21, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. Ekbaaaal from DC


    He is the only one who hasn't used his finger yet and ALL the rest of you including Eric, Boehner have been very busy with Britney and others (exception :: McCain – he is so tired after a 18 month ordeal with Palin 😉 )

    April 21, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Mitch McConnell is just another sore loser Republican who has nothing else to do but argue about EVERYTHING President Obama does! Gitmo is going to close......period! There will be no more torture and false imprisonment like there was with Bush. The cowboy mentality is finally over and the utter disregard for human life that the last eight years produced is over.

    April 21, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Bjoerlingfan

    Right. A lot of them can be considered the "most dangerous men alive", but still others haven't been proven to have done anything at all. THIS is why Gitmo needs to be closed. If these men are guilty, present the evidence, try them, and convict them! If there is no evidence of wrongdoing, why are they there in the first place?

    April 21, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. marcus

    it is absolutely incredible how ignorant of the truth republican representatives are in congress. the people being held in gitmo are NOT the most dangerous men alive. that's the reason they're being held. because the idiots in the bush administration never had anything to charge them with. if these people are SO dangerous, bring them to court, and charge them with something, you dimwits !

    April 21, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. Irma in North Carolina

    What are all the DC republicans coming out on one day to bash the president. Do you think you will make any gains by this in 2010 and 2012. Do you realize that every day more people are droping out of your party. I think Megan Mccain is right the republicans are going to have a civil war amonst them selves. I think you guys should listen to her she makes more sense than any of you do.

    April 21, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. Karen - Missouri

    Old Mitch needs to retire...he sounds too much like Bush and Cheney. This isn't news...we know ALL Republicans oppose Obama on EVERYTHING. Talk about obstructionists and whining. In Obama's first 100 days the Republicans have proven that they think only THEY can run the country, even though they have to solutions and only work at complaining. Do they EVER have a solution? Republicans are so full of themselves! So Mitch complains...but does he have a solution or idea of what to do? Of course not.

    April 21, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. Jennie

    What is it...geezer day on the Political Ticker – first gramps mccain complains, then romney now old grandma mcconnell. They and their complaints are nothing but white noise at this point. They have nothing constructive to offer, just whining and complaining. Let the grown ups do their jobs, stay out of the way.

    April 21, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. Kaye -Jacksonville FL

    Oh, Mitch (and Cheney and Boehner and Cantor and Spence and Perry and Sanford and ...) Won't you all please just shut the hell up??
    Everytime you open your mouth and express yet another unfounded, illogical, insane opinion – America must cringe (well, except for that 25% or so that love assault weapons and think paying taxes equates to socialism...)
    Please, go away and leave the sane folks to get this country back on track.

    April 21, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. Freed_From_W

    McConnell needs to worry about closing his mouth before the closing of Guantanamo.

    This man is a classic example of the infuriating right-wing and it's resistance to see reality as anything but 1950's White America.

    April 21, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. Dean

    Mitch we are going to facility there in your back yard for them.

    April 21, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. Ben

    Yeah, I'm sure no one has thought this through, Mitch

    Good thing you're on top of this, Mitch...

    April 21, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. Debby, NJ...foot soldier 'til 2016

    Didn't we have this conversation?
    Why won't the Party Of No come up with something new...anything will do!

    April 21, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Well the detention center needs to be closed. Let's get that staright now. The abuses that happened in that facility have tarnished our image abroad and especially in the Muslim region. I'm glad the Bush Admin. memos were released. Now, we can start to indict these criminals who over extended their powers.

    And what kind of assistance is taking one prisoner going to do Nicolas? Come on man. Help an ally out.

    April 21, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. Mississippi Mike

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up Mitch. What is so dangerous about releasing the world's most dangerous prisoners into the United States without a plan for where they are going to go or how we should treat them?

    If Obama says it's a good idea, it has to be. Now let me drink my kool-aid.

    April 21, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. William in San Jose

    Oooh, Ahh, the top Republican lawmaker. All rise, now kneel. The top party of no official will give the decree to not do something.

    April 21, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  22. Heck no

    you wanna convict those people of a crime – then have a trial and do it and send them to jail or kill them if you have to – but you can't just hold people forever – go hide in your turtle shell Senator Yurtle

    April 21, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. John in Ohio

    ADX Florence. Look it up.

    April 21, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. luan isuffi

    What do those incompetent morons know.
    They scewed up this country for 8 years and now they all should go.

    April 21, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. Tim

    Mitch, Mitch, Mitch. Details, details.

    Come on trust him, he has hope and change.

    April 21, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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