Paul Ryan on Guantanamo Bay
Congressman Ryan supports the use of Guantanamo Bay to house terrorists and the use of military tribunals as trials for those detainees. In 2009, when President Obama attempted to move detainees to the US mainland and have civilian trials for them, Congressman Ryan asserted that the President was fundamentally confusing acts of war with mere criminal acts, and was naively believing that combating terrorism is a fight best left to courtrooms. He asserted that the President should adhere to the constitutional process of military tribunals established to deal with the world’s most dangerous terrorists currently held in Guantanamo Bay, and that moving these detainees from Guantanamo Bay to northern Illinois will neither expedite the administration of justice nor strengthen the security of our homeland. Congressman Ryan voted in favor of a funding bill to prevent any funds from being used to move detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the US and was a cosponsor of the Keep Terrorists Out of America Act.
Opposition to Transferring Terrorists
On November 17, 2009 Congressman Ryan issued a press statement noting his opposition to the transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, his support for the military commissions system, and his support for continuing to keep GITMO open.
Ryan Opposes Transfer of Terrorists
November 17, 2009
WASHINGTON – Wisconsin’s 1st District Congressman Paul Ryan spoke out against efforts by the Obama Administration to welcome detained terrorists to the Midwest. Ryan raised concerns to reports that over 100 terrorists could be transferred from their Guantanamo Bay detention facility to the Thomson Correctional Center, a northern Illinois prison located 50 miles south of the Wisconsin border.
President Obama has previously set a self-imposed, arbitrary deadline to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and details are now emerging on how the Administration intends to handle the hundreds of detainees. In 2006, Congress passed the Military Commissions Act, which established procedures, rules, and legal framework for trying unlawful enemy combatants who have engaged in hostilities against the U.S. and do not belong to the regular armed forces of a country, such as al-Qaeda. The military commissions, based on the Uniform Code of Military Justice, created a process to effectively and fairly prosecute terrorists, while also protecting American troops and intelligence agents fighting terrorism around the world. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that these military tribunals are consistent with our constitution and in compliance with our international obligations.
Congressman Ryan expressed grave concern that the President has chosen to bypass this military tribunal system, while at the same time bringing al-Qaeda terrorists a short drive from Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District. In response to federal officials touring the Thomson Correctional Center yesterday, Ryan issued the following statement:
“The President continues to fundamentally confuse acts of war as mere criminal acts – naively believing that combating terrorism is a fight best left to courtrooms. The President should adhere to the constitutional process established to deal with the world’s most dangerous terrorists currently held in Guantanamo Bay. Moving these detainees from Guantanamo Bay to northern Illinois will neither expedite the administration of justice nor strengthen the security of our homeland. Those I serve in Southern Wisconsin will not welcome these terrorists as our new neighbors. The President's promise to close Guantanamo Bay was a misguided political calculation that remains unworkable. For sake of our security, this is a promise he shouldn't keep.”
Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010
In October of 2010, the House voted on a funding bill for Homeland Security. Buried within that legislation was language to prevent any funds from being used to transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the US or to their home nation. Also in that funding bill was a definition that made photos taken of prisoners at Guantanamo bay classified and unable to be released. The act passed the House 258-163. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the act which prevented the movement of prisoners from Gitmo and classified photos of detainees.
Paul Ryan voted in favor of the act which prevented the movement of prisoners from Gitmo and classified photos of detainees.
Military Commissions Act of 2006
The Military Commissions Act of 2006 established the authority to hold military tribunals for unlawful enemy combatants. It also defined that term and several others. The legislation was passed 253-168 in September of 2006. Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
Paul Ryan voted in favor of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation
To require the approval of the relevant State governor and legislature and the President's notification and certification before the transfer or release of an individual currently detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to a location in the United States, and for other purposes.