Obama on Gitmo
Some of Oklahoma’s lawmakers have been alarmed at the idea that prisoners now being held in Guantanamo Bay could be moved to the United States, possibly even Oklahoma, if the Cuban prison is shut down by the Obama administration.
The stockade at Fort Sill has been mentioned as a possible holding place for Gitmo prisoners. However, the correctional facility was ordered to be shut down by the 2005 base closure commission; the operations were to be consolidated at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. That hasn’t happened yet, and a Fort Sill spokesperson said last month there was no timetable for shutting down the Fort Sill facility.
During a press briefing last week, President Barack Obama was asked about the possibility of Gitmo prisoners moving to Fort Leavenworth:
Q Thank you, Mr. President. You named a special envoy today to oversee the closure of Guantanamo. I’d like to ask you about that. Among the places being — possibly being considered as an alternative to those prisons is Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. There’s a wall of opposition –
THE PRESIDENT: Where my mother was born, by the way.
Q Exactly. There’s a wall of opposition to that — local officials, people in the area and plus from the congressional delegations of those states. How would you explain the rationale between the possibility — if a place like Leavenworth would be chosen, the rationale behind that, and reassuring people of their safety and security?
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