Congressman Tom Cole, R-Okla., said he’s opposed to the possibility of Fort Sill being considered for Guantanamo Bay’s terror war detainees.
Recent reports that the White House is considering shutting down the Cuban detention facility leaves up in the air the question of what to do with the detainees, including many believed to be al-Qaida terrorists.
President George W. Bush is facing growing opposition to the holding facility, both at home and abroad, and is considering how the infamous prison might be closed and the detainees moved elsewhere.
White House spokeswoman Dano Perino told Reuters recently, “A lot of very smart people are working on that issue, trying to figure out a way that we could close Guantanamo in a way that makes sure that those who are there are held securely and that they are treated humanely.”
Although Fort Sill’s base near Lawton might be on the list, it faces major opposition, said Cole’s spokeswoman, Carmen Terry.
“Although they are talking about it, it hasn’t been decided yet if for sure they are going to close it,” Terry said. “We are very opposed to them closing it. Right now they are just beginning to discuss long-term strategies.”
According to recent information, members of the armed services committee in congress have circulated lists of possible bases where the detainees might be held. Cole has voiced strong opposition to Fort Sill’s consideration.
“Transferring detainees to Fort Sill and other American communities will make them more likely targets of terrorism and make America less safe,” he said in a May release. “This is a terrible proposal and one against which I will fight extremely hard.”
The entire list, according to Cole’s release, is:
· Fort Leavenworth, Kan.;
· Fort Knox, Ky.;
· Fort Sill, Okla.;
· Fort Lewis, Wash.;
· Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.;
· Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.;
· Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif.;
· NAVBRIG Norfolk, Va.;
· WPNSTA Charleston, S.C.;
· NAVSTA Pearl Harbor, Hawaii;
· SUBASE Bangor, Wash.;
· NAS Jacksonville, Fla.;
· NAS Pensacola, Fla.;
· MCB Quantico, Va.;
· Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.;
· Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.; and
· Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. “Ben Fenwick