President Obama releasing five Taliban detainees from the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, without notifying Congress has congressional Republicans arguing the president took the first step in his larger plan to side-step Capitol Hill to close the facility.
South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham is among those most critical of Obama and is trying to thwart his effort.
Graham said this week that his goal is “to keep these prisoners in jail when appropriate to protect the United States” while Obama and fellow administration officials are “trying to clean out the jail.”
His remarks were followed within hours by fellow Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, Illinois, handed out a flier with mug shots of the five detainees that read: “Obama’s Release Threatens Americans’ Safety Around the World and is a Backdoor Effort to Close Guantanamo.”
Earlier in the week, Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said: “The whole motivation here is the president wants to shut that [prison] down. … It fits right in with what the president has been trying to do on Gitmo since before he was president.”
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