Senator James Lankford (R-OK), along with fellow freshman Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Mike Rounds (R-SD), last night returned from a trip to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Senators toured the Guantanamo Bay base, observed detention operations, and met with military commanders.
“Having seen the Guantanamo Bay detention facility for the first time, I have even more confidence that our men and women in uniform are performing an important security function for our nation. I thank them for the difficult work they do every day,” said Senator Lankford. “It’s important that we keep this detention facility open to help keep our nation safe and prevent terrorists from reengaging on the battlefield against America.”
“First, the Servicemembers stationed at Guantanamo Bay have a difficult job. They are true patriots who deserve our thanks and praise,” said Senator Cotton. “Guantanamo Bay is a first-rate detention facility that houses some of the world’s most hardened terrorists. It’s one of our most effective counterterrorism tools. After visiting today, I remain firm in my belief that this facility should not only remain open—but that we should not shy away from increasing the number of prisoners held there.”
“Today’s visit provided invaluable firsthand knowledge of its mission to protect our nation from the world’s most dangerous terrorists, and to hear from military commanders about the important role Guantanamo Bay has in ensuring our national security,” said Senator Ernst. “As a National Guard member, I believe it is also critical to see the conditions that our National Guard and Reserve servicemembers face while carrying out this important mission. I am very proud of their service that is given there. More than ever, it is clear how vital it is to our national interest to keep these terrorists at Guantanamo Bay.”
“Guantanamo Bay houses some of the most heinous and evil criminals of our time – the worst of the worst — and my visit today reinforces my belief that we must keep this facility open,” said Senator Tillis. “I thank our servicemembers at Guantanamo Bay for their incredible devotion to our country, and I will work to ensure this facility remains open and continues to play a key role in our nation’s effort to defeat the terrorist threat.”
“As terrorism against America and our allies continues unabated, I was pleased to see for myself the work being done at GTMO to protect our country from those who seek to destroy us,” said Senator Rounds. “The men and women stationed at Guantanamo Bay play an important role in counter-terrorism efforts while making sure the detainees are treated humanely. I have no doubt this is the right place to detain them – now and in the future.”
Senator James Lankford is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Senators Joni Ernst, Thom Tillis, and Mike Rounds are members of the Senate Armed Services. Senator Tom Cotton is a member of both the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.