05.21.09

Schiff Lauds President Obama's Commitment to Closing Guantanamo Bay Prison

Official Seal of the US House of Representatives

Thursday, May 21, 2009 Contact: Sean Oblack (202) 225-4176

Schiff Lauds President Obama’s Commitment to Closing Guantanamo Bay Prison

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today Rep. Adam Schiff, author of the Terrorist Detainees Procedures Act (H.R. 1315), welcomed President Obama’s steadfast determination to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. Rep. Schiff has been an outspoken critic of the prison for years and has authored a number of bills, similar to the President’s plan announced today, that aim to reform detention policy. Rep. Schiff is committed to seeing that the prison is closed, our national security objectives are met, and adequate due process for detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay is provided.

“The President today demonstrated again why the American people have such confidence in him -- he does not shy away from the most difficult issues and his national security strategy is tough, smart and true to our highest ideals,” said Schiff. “I fully support his decision to close Guantanamo, his willingness to prosecute the detainees within the rule of law, and the necessity of our sharing the burden of their incarceration with other nations. I remain concerned about the continued use of the military commissions established by the prior administration, and believe we would be better served by prosecuting the detainees in the military courts martial, or, when feasible, in federal courts. It will also be important to ensure that those the Administration must continue to detain, receive an appropriate level of judicial review of their status as unprivileged belligerents. I look forward to working with the Administration to ensure that our national security is ensured, our values are upheld, and that the Congress provides the legislative means to accomplish these essential ends.”