Hoekstra: W.H. Must Come Clean on Gitmo Transfers

Wednesday, 19 Aug 2009 06:42 PM

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, is refusing to sign requests for reprogramming Military Intelligence Program funds, absent a compelling military need, after the Obama administration stonewalled requests for information on its efforts to transfer terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay to a prison in Michigan.

"The Obama administration is refusing to answer any questions about its plans to transfer terrorists to Michigan except for those who support its efforts or those it is trying to bribe into doing so," Hoekstra said. "The people of Michigan who may be forced to shoulder the risk of housing terrorist detainees deserve full transparency on the administration’s plans, indeed all Americans deserve it, which leaves me no choice but to make this decision. If the president thinks moving terrorists to Michigan is such a great idea, he should afford Congress and the people of Michigan the openness and transparency on this issue that he promised during his campaign."

Hoekstra sent a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates outlining his reasons for refusing routine reprogramming requests. Reprogramming requests allow intelligence funds to be spent on purposes other than those for which they were originally budgeted. Hoekstra said he will continue to sign reprogrammings that are imminently needed for operational or national security reasons.

Hoekstra, who Thursday will speak at a town hall in Standish, Mich. on the proposed "Gitmo North," testified before the Michigan Senate yesterday on the risks associated with transferring al-Qaeda and other terrorist detainees into the state. He also spoke about the need for the White House to share currently classified information with state officials about the risks. The state Senate is expected to vote this week on a resolution requesting that the administration make information on the security risks available to the governor and state lawmakers.

"The administration wants people in Michigan to see this as only an economic issue," Hoekstra said. "The reality is that this is a security issue, and state residents and officials should be given all the facts."

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