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senate Bill S. 165

Should There be Restrictions on the Release or Transfer of Guantanamo Bay Prisoners?

Argument in favor

Too many Guantanamo Bay detainees have been released and returned to terrorism. The restrictions on their transfer or release that this bill imposes will safeguard the U.S. against terrorist activity.

BTSundra's Opinion
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01/26/2016
We must keep these horrible war criminals and terrorists behind bars.
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Gopin2020's Opinion
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04/17/2016
No release, they are not an Army of any Nation.
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Ryan's Opinion
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12/01/2015
Those at Guantonimo committed acts of war against Americans. They are not common criminals, so they should not be treated as such. They want ALL Americans dead. We are the infidels to them. All the terrorists that have been released have pledged to fight Americans again on the battlefield. We need to deal with these people the same way George Washington did enemy combatants.
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Argument opposed

Keeping detainees at Guantanamo Bay indefinitely without trial is contrary to American ideals, and few detainees return to terrorism. Not only that, but it has become a recruiting tool for terrorist groups.

Donald's Opinion
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11/29/2015
The prisoners in Guantanimo should be charged as POW's or not charged and sent home.
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Margaret's Opinion
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02/28/2016
Retaining without trial or proof places the US in a position of hypocrisy and isolation from international support. It also guves true terrorists grounds on which to recruit.
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Denny's Opinion
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02/27/2016
They should have a trial or military tribunal. Or even tried at The Hague. If there is prof of wrong doing then bring it to light. The government seems to think we should hold them forever. Show the American people why that is, let us see for ourselves. Human rights are human rights no?
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What is Senate Bill S. 165?

This bill would keep federal funds from being used to build (or modify) U.S. facilities for housing prisoners currently held at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — unless they are a U.S. citizen or member of the armed forces. 

It would also prevent Khalid Sheikh Mohammed from being transferred or released to the U.S. or its territories. This ban would apply to any other Guantanamo detainees that are not U.S. citizens or who have been held at the facility since January 20, 2009.

The Secretary Defense or a Dept. of Defense (DOD) official would be able to temporarily transfer Guantanamo detainees to DOD medical facilities in the U.S. if:

  • They need treatment to prevent death or imminent significant harm.

  • The treatment the need is not available at Guantanamo Bay without excessive or unreasonable costs.

  • DOD provides security measures.

Temporarily transferred detainees would remain in the uninterrupted custody of DOD officials during their time in the U.S. They would be kept from invoking rights through immigration laws or any other U.S. laws beyond those available to them at Guantanamo Bay.

Judicial review of any claims against the U.S. regarding aspects of the detention, transfer, treatment, or conditions of confinement of a detainee transferred to the U.S. for medical treatment would be prohibited. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia would, however, be allowed to consider an challenge to the fact or duration of detention that seeks release from custody. The Court could not review, halt, or delay the individual’s return to Guantanamo, or order a release of the individual within the U.S.

The DOD would be prohibited from using funds to transfer Guantanamo detainees to foreign countries or entities unless DOD certifies that the country’s government or entity’s leadership:

  • Is not a designated state sponsor of terrorism or foreign terrorist organization.

  • Maintains control over detention facilities and isn’t facing likely threats to its control of the individual.

  • Agrees to take actions to ensure that the individual can’t engage in terrorism against the U.S., its citizens or its allies.

  • Agrees to share information regarding the individual or their associates that could affect the security of the U.S. or its allies.

For two years after enactment, this bill prohibits the transfer of a detainee to a country considered high-risk or medium-risk to the U.S., its interests or its allies, and specifically the Republic of Yemen or any entity within Yemen. Any country where a detainee was released and the detainee returns to terrorist activity would be prohibited from receiving future released detainees, which could be waived by DOD for national security purposes.

The DOD would be required to ensure that the operations of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility are conduct in a manner consistent with:

  • The law of armed conflict, including Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

  • Interrogation standards and prohibitions on cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment under the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005.

DOD would be required to submit a list of Guantanamo detainees determined to be high-risk or medium-risk. The DOD would also be required to publish an unclassified report providing details about the previous terrorist activities of detainees remaining at Guantanamo. An additional report about the effectiveness and impact of the Guantanamo detention facility as a propaganda and recruiting tool would be required, which includes efforts to counter that impact.

This bill supersedes all previous restrictions that were set to expire on December 31, 2015.

Impact

Guantanamo Bay detainees; U.S. personnel at Guantanamo Bay; U.S. medical facilities that may temporarily receive detainees for treatment; the Department of Defense; and the Secretary of Defense.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 165

$0.00
The CBO analyzed this legislation and found that it would have no net effect on the federal budget, as it would not significantly alter the costs of operating the detention facility at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and would prohibit spending on a new detention facility.

More Information

In-DepthGuantanamo Bay’s detention facility at its peak held between 680 and 770 prisoners, but only 122 still remain after 24 detainees were released in 2014 and another five were released in January 2015.

Concerns about the recidivism rate (basically the likelihood of returning to terrorism) of released Guantanamo Bay detainees has led to analysis of the issue. According to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), about 184 of the 620 released detainees -- which is 29.7 percent -- have either returned to terrorism or suspected of returning to terrorism as of September 2014. 25 of those 184 released detainees are dead, and another 39 are in custody, leaving 120 at-large. Of those former detainees at-large, 59 have been confirmed to be re-engaged in terrorism. One released detainee returned to a leadership position in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and has appeared in the group's propaganda videos.

The Senate Armed Services Committee passed this legislation on a 14-12 vote, and included amendments that made into law existing requirements for the humane treatment of detainees, reporting about the use of Guantanamo as a recruiting tool, and medical transfers for detainees.

The New York Times Editorial Board published an op-ed opposing this legislation and Guantanamo Bay’s detention facility in general, saying that: “It is long past time for American officials to do the right thing: prosecute suspected terrorists in American courtrooms and shut down a wartime prison that has deservedly brought the U.S. international scorn.”


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user JTFGTMO)

AKA

Detaining Terrorists to Protect America Act of 2015

Official Title

A bill to extend and enhance prohibitions and limitations with respect to the transfer or release of individuals detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Armed Services
    IntroducedJanuary 13th, 2015
    We must keep these horrible war criminals and terrorists behind bars.
    Like (16)
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    The prisoners in Guantanimo should be charged as POW's or not charged and sent home.
    Like (13)
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    No release, they are not an Army of any Nation.
    Like (9)
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    Those at Guantonimo committed acts of war against Americans. They are not common criminals, so they should not be treated as such. They want ALL Americans dead. We are the infidels to them. All the terrorists that have been released have pledged to fight Americans again on the battlefield. We need to deal with these people the same way George Washington did enemy combatants.
    Like (6)
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    Let's free Americans held captive in other countries like Amir Hekmati in Iran, stop wasting time worrying about the criminals at Getmo.
    Like (5)
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    Retaining without trial or proof places the US in a position of hypocrisy and isolation from international support. It also guves true terrorists grounds on which to recruit.
    Like (5)
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    this helps keeparerica safe and gives the law time to do their jpb tp deter,ome jhow to further th eddd to eliminate the danger of these prisoners
    Like (3)
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    The Gitmo prisoners who have been released have all rejoined fighting in the name of Islamic extremism. Guantanamo is the safest place for these criminals to be, and they should remain there.
    Like (3)
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    Because they are not US citizens, they don't officially fall under the Bill of Rights or the Constitution, they're also not subject to be confined in a stateside prison. They're a threat to the mainland, and when released, they will most likely regain their previous position as a terrorist.
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    They should have a trial or military tribunal. Or even tried at The Hague. If there is prof of wrong doing then bring it to light. The government seems to think we should hold them forever. Show the American people why that is, let us see for ourselves. Human rights are human rights no?
    Like (3)
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    We need to,keep,them where they are.
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    These guys are VERY dangerous. This is common sense
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    These "people" are worse than the damn nazis, to this day, nazis are hunted down, and executed. Anybody that has any ties with terrorism against this country, should be executed. Why are we keeping them prisoner in the first place? Why spend tax money on them? Why give Isis a recruiting tool. Solve two problems with one bullet.
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    Um mm how could this even be up for debate? These are terrorists who will go back to full filling their extremists beliefs! These monsters need to be in prison for the rest of their lives!
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    Guantanamo prisoners is very very very ……… high risk prisoners and if you release them you're putting your country at risk and you're striping our amendment which was important in 1906 but now This?
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    Of course we need to be more careful! These people keep showing up , ready to fight us again...
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    Please place all Gitmo prisoners on a boat to Bermuda Triangle. Story ends, peace begins. We win, they lost.
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    They should be staying right where they are. As far as bringing them to the States... that is a violation of Federal Law. They should NEVER step foot on US soil.
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    They should not be released in the United States at all.
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    They should rot in Gitmo!
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