WASHINGTON — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced legislation Thursday requiring the Obama administration to provide an unclassified notice to Congress containing specific information on individuals currently detained at Guantanamo Bay who are being transferred to a foreign country. The Terrorist Release Transparency Act, S.2589, is the Senate companion to H.R.4580, introduced by Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Sen. Johnson said this regarding Guantanamo and the legislation:
“The American people deserve to know when and where President Obama plans to transfer detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay. The information should be public, not hidden by unnecessary classification. Many of the former Guantanamo detainees transferred to foreign countries have gone on to re-engage in terrorism, or are believed to have done so. The threat posed by the terrorists held at the Guantanamo facility must be addressed seriously and transparently.”
Requires the State Department to provide an unclassified notice to Congress containing:
- The name, country of origin, and country of destination of the individual proposed to be transferred;
- The number of individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay facility previously transferred to that country; and
- The number of such individuals who are known or suspected to have re-engaged in terrorist activity after being transferred to that country.
This bill also requires the State Department to tell Congress why it chose a particular country for each transfer and which countries are next on its potential transfer list.
The Terrorist Release Transparency Act is consistent with existing requirements under the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Full text of S.2589 can be found here.