The Senate has denied President Barack Obama's request for 80 million dollars to be alloted to facilitate the closure of the Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp located on the Eastern coast of Cuba.
Senators have been vocal about their reluctance to accept that some terrorists may have to be moved to U.S. soil, while others were skeptical of approving the funds without first hearing a plan laid out for the detainment and trial of the remaining 250 prisoners currently being held at Guatanamo. Other elected officials have pointed to the fact that it would be impossible to find space to securely detain the high-level prisoners in the United States.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of the few Republicans in agreement with Obama that Guantanamo needs to be closed, scoffed, "The idea that we cannot find a place to securely house 250-plus
detainees within the United States is not rational. We have done this
before," Graham continued, "But it is my belief that you need a plan before
you close Gitmo."
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., echoed Sen. Graham's sentiment, pointing out that no prisoner has
ever escaped from a federal "supermax" prison and that 347 convicted
terrorists are currently being held in U.S. prisons.
Obama will give a speech about his plan to close the Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp, which has become a symbol of torture and the U.S. policy of detention without trial under President Bush, tomorrow. But senators—even those Obama considers allies—were weary of approving the funds without hearing the plans first.
The new pentagon chief, Michele Flournoy, said it's
unrealistic to think that no detainees will come to the United States,
and that the government can't ask allies around the world to take on detainees while
refusing to shoulder the same burden.