Chambliss Moves to Block Gitmo Transfers

Tuesday, 05 May 2009 08:54 PM

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A U.S. Senator said Tuesday he would soon introduce legislation aimed at blocking the release on US soil of any detainees currently held at the Guantanamo Bay facility for suspected terrorists.

"I intend to introduce legislation in the next few days to make sure that we establish a policy that will provide for no funding for the release of any of these individuals on US soil," said Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss.

The Georgia lawmaker said his bill aimed to reassure the US public that Guantanamo detainees are "not going to be re-released into their neighborhoods where they're going to immediately form cells where they will seek to kill and harm Americans."

Republicans have accused US President Barack Obama of committing to closing the facility -- seen in much of the world as a symbol of excessive US "war on terrorism" tactics -- by January 2010 without first knowing where the detainees would go.

But even House Democrats appear to have rejected the White House's appeal for 80 million dollars to study where the prisoners might go, or to fund their release, transfer, prosecution, or continued detention.

"We understand that over on the House side they've deleted the money. That doesn't eliminate the issue. The issue remains, what will be done with these prisoners?" said Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Obama plans to release into the United States some of the 17 Chinese Muslim Uighurs held at the facility for seven years then cleared for release by US authorities, said a US official, who requested anonymity.

About 240 prisoners still languish in the prison opened in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks at a US military base at Guantanamo Bay, southern Cuba.

Copyright AFP 2008, AFP stories and photos shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium

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