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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

 9:37 AM 

Ryan, Johnson speak out against moving Guantanamo Bay detainees to U.S., Feingold cautiously supportive

House Speaker Paul Ryan Tuesday tore into President Barack Obama's plan to close the Guantanamo Bay military prison and transfer some of the inmates to American soil.

Obama Tuesday laid out a plan for the closure that included transferring some inmates to other countries and reviewing others in the prison to see if detention still is necessary. The president also said his administration would continue making the case to Congress to allow for the transfer of some detainees to the U.S.

The latter part of the plan didn't sit well with Ryan, R-Janesville. He said in a prepared statement that Obama, after seven years, still has not convinced the American public that moving detainees to the U.S. is "smart or safe."

"Congress has left no room for confusion," Ryan said. "It is against the law -- and it will stay against the law -- to transfer terrorist detainees to American soil. We will not jeopardize our national security over a campaign promise."

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and his Dem challenger in the fall election, Russ Feingold, both emphasized the importance of keeping America safe. But that was their only point of agreement.

Johnson said Obama's plan is "contrary to the will of the public and a bipartisan majority in Congress." He said keeping the country safe from terrorists depends on effective intelligence gathering.

"Closing Guantanamo Bay will reduce our capability," the Oshkosh Republican said. "I will continue to oppose closing Guantanamo despite the administration's decision."

Feingold, on the other hand, struck a cautiously supportive stance. In his prepared statement, he said the prison "has contradicted our values and complicated America's efforts to fight terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and ISIS."

Feingold said he looks forward to reviewing the details of the plan.

"As we know, our system of justice has proven capable of securely, fairly, and effectively prosecuting alleged terrorists," he said, "so any path for closing Guantanamo must uphold the rule of law while keeping Americans safe."


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