Republicans are ramping up efforts to keep Guantanamo Bay's detainee facility open forever, using a series of amendments to the Pentagon appropriations and Intelligence authorization bills. The amendments range from demands for reports and certification -- which the administration is nominally OK with -- to outright prohibitions on transfers from GTMO or on opening the Thomson facility to receive some detainees.
Privately, Republican staff members have acknowledged that they simply want to keep GTMO open. Many of these same Republicans claim concerns over national security, but they were largely silent as the Bush administration moved over 500 detainees from GTMO, many of them without the more stringent pre-release review that Obama introduced.
Today, the administration fires back at what they see as a concerted effort to turn every detainee into a political wedge issue.
The National Security Adviser, James Jones, sent a letter this morning to the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, David Obey, and the ranking Republican, Rep. Jerry Lewis, responding to Lewis' call for an immediate halt to repatriations and the stoppage of all activity related to the closure of the prison. APNSA Letter to Chairman Obey.pdf