Closing Gitmo Puts “Symbolism over Security”: GOP

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WASHINGTON — Republicans say the White House plan to close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay "is a dangerous case of putting symbolism over security."

President Barack Obama needs to tell the public where the suspected terrorists will go after the facility in Cuba is shuttered, Missouri Sen. Kit Bond said in the GOP radio address Saturday.

"The American people have a right to know exactly what the White House plans to do with these terrorists," said Bond, the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee. "Americans don't want these terrorists in their neighborhood."

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Obama has pledged to have the detention center for terrorist suspects closed by January. But the White House has yet to disclose where the 241 detainees will be sent.

On Friday, it was learned that Obama had a 25-minute discussion with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh about what might be done with about 100 Yemeni prisoners. The United States wants Saleh's support for a plan to send them to terrorist rehabilitation centers in Saudi Arabia. The Yemeni president reportedly wants the Yemeni prisoners sent back to their homeland.

Bond, in his radio address, said the president "has no plan for what to do with these killers" and that the administration has suggested some of them may come into the United States.

"There is no easy solution here," Bond said. "But having no solution and moving forward with the closing of the prison at Guantanamo is a dangerous gamble with our security here at home and our troops abroad."

A transcript of the lawmaker's remarks for radio and the Internet were provided by his office.

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