WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement after the Obama Administration submitted to Congress a proposal to close the Guantanamo Bay (GITMO) detention facility:

“Responsibly closing the detention facility at GITMO and transferring detainees won’t be easy, but it is the right thing to do.  The Administration has finally taken the important step required by the NDAA to submit a plan to Congress, and I urge my colleagues to join me in carefully reviewing the proposal.

“GITMO should have been closed by now.  Even George W. Bush wanted to close it.  And let’s be clear: closing GITMO does not mean releasing anyone, setting bad guys free, or doing anything other than putting them in a highly secure prison and on trial under the right military tribunal system or legal process.

“This process has been made more difficult by restrictions imposed by Congress, but there remains broad recognition that the facility is a symbolic hindrance to bringing terrorists to justice and weakens counter-terrorism cooperation with our allies. 

“We need to find more cost-effective ways to detain the remaining prisoners and a workable, long-term solution for detainees who cannot be released or who may pose a future threat.

“I will work with my colleagues on a bipartisan basis to consider this proposal.”