U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement on President Obama’s plan to close the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay:
“I’m pleased to see President Obama moving forward with a proposal to close the Guantánamo Bay prison, and I urge Congress to consider the plan seriously. I’ve long called for permanently shutting down the facility, which is a stain on our nation’s history and continues to be a recruitment tool for terrorist groups worldwide. We should have closed Guantánamo years ago. Instead, we’ve continued to hold nearly 100 detainees awaiting trial or transfer — going against our American values and costing taxpayers tens of millions each year.
“Closing Guantánamo Bay wasn’t always a partisan issue. President Bush wanted it closed, and President Obama has consistently called for shutting the prison. But unfortunately some in Congress have blocked progress. It’s time to put politics aside and embrace a solution that shuts Guantánamo for good and keeps Americans safe.”
Udall has long called for closing the Guantánamo Bay prison and met with the troops and commanders of Joint Task Force Guantánamo at the facility last year.