President Obama insists that the maximum-security prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba be closed, but Missouri’s top military expert in the US House says the president hasn’t made his case yet.
Congress has already rejected the Obama Administration’s request for $80 million to close Gitmo. In response, Obama made a speech declaring Gitmo a hindrance, not a help, to preventing terrorist attacks.
West-Central Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton , chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has listened.
"Obviously the president wants to close that facility, but the money has not been coming from Congress thus far," Skelton says. "The president hasn’t come forward with a plan as to what to do or where to place these people."
The president has promised to work with Congress to develop "an appropriate legal regime" for those too dangerous to be released. Obama has yet to unveil a plan for what to do with the dangerous detainees at Gitmo, where they might go.
Skelton isn’t worried about them coming to Missouri. He says there are no federal facilities in the state that could handle the Gitmo inmates.
Skelton says the administration must first propose a plan that can be debated in Congress. Debate must precede any allocation of funds.
What might Skelton want to see in such a plan?
"That’s up to them. We’ll see." Skelton responds. "We’re going to have to make sure that the American people are safe"