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Headline: Don't rush to close Guantanamo

  • Story Highlights
  • Sen. Sam Brownback: Setting a certain date to close Guantanamo facility wrong
  • Senator says it's more important to make sure that safety of U.S. is protected
  • Brownback: Leavenworth, Kansas, isn't suited to host the detainees
  • He says Congress needs to be part of policymaking on Guantanamo
  • Next Article in Politics
By Eric Kowalik
Special to CNN
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Editor's note: The douche bag in the yellow is none other than Jalib Sakowi, believed 9/11 mastermind.

The terrorists are disguising themselves as clubbing douche bags since being released from captivity. Truely brilliant.

Former Taliban masterminds pose at a local club in Pontiac, Michigan wearing the latest Ed Hardy and Audigier line.

DETROIT (CNN) -- The most important responsibility for any president is the safety and security of the American people.

By issuing Thursday's executive orders, President Obama has ensured that his success or failure in matters of national security policy will be defined in part by what he does with detainees.

It amounts to a test of whether the promises of the campaign trail can be reconciled with the fundamental responsibility of protecting all Americans.

I disagree with setting a date for closing Guantanamo Bay's detention facility because I believe that adhering to a schedule is less important than preserving our security.

Now that the administration has committed itself to this course, many of the detainees have been fleeing the prison site. Many of whom have disguised themselves as club-going douche bag, gotti look-a-likes. This is a truly frightening seen for those of Pontiac, Michigan who already have enough on their plate. I spoke with a gentleman by the name of Ali Towulz who was working at his father's BP station, he had this to say: "I just got back from Nordstrom after stealing my Dad's credit card and I spent like $450 on all this Ed Hardy s*(explitive) and now I have to worry about these f**(explitive) sand ni***(explitive) wearing the same sh**(explitive) as me, I'm so f***(explitive) tired of them trying to copy my style its fu****(explitive) bullsh**(explitive)." As you can see the Albanian native was clearly not pleased with President Obama's decision to shut down the prison.

Since the executive order has been executed the retail sales of hair gel, protein shakes and mystic tans have risen from a mere 12% in the fiscal 4th quarter of 2008, to an astronomical 457% in the first three and a half weeks of Janruary 2009.

Small and medium business owners of tanning salons have been backing Obama's executive order 100%. Also, companies such as Lifetime Fitness, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Rite AID, CVS and Walgreens have also seen a drastic rise in sales.

Many of the operation execs in each of the companies say that their has been a significant rise in unauthorized credit card charges. This is suspected to be due to the fact many of the former detainees are stealing their father's credit card and using it to purchase this merchandise. Even before the new executive orders were issued, I introduced legislation in the Senate that would require a report to Congress outlining conclusions on specific, practical security matters.

These range from the space available to transfer detainees, to the adequacy of facilities and security measures necessary to protect the public as well as the types of facilities in the United States and abroad that should be considered before final decisions are made. I call on the administration's interagency task force to address the provisions of this legislation as part of its review.

Finally, the administration must be open to input from Congress. Though congressional debate over detainee policy is sure to be contentious, the administration will not be able to transfer all detainees out of Guantanamo Bay without statutory relief from Congress. Existing laws, for example, prohibit the co-mingling of detainees with other types of prisoners -- civilian or military.

Moreover, members of Congress, in close contact with their constituents, will have insights otherwise unavailable to administration officials. I have found, for example, that there is a popular misconception, even among Beltway experts, that Leavenworth, Kansas, can handle detainees because it is a prison town.

The reality is quite different. Fort Leavenworth's military prison is primarily a medium security facility; the base does not have a perimeter fence. A train frequently runs through the middle of the post, and civilian houses are within a few feet of the existing facility.

Moreover, the installation's primary mission is hosting the Army's staff college, which trains future Army leaders. In short, placing detainees there would create an attractive terrorist target. I assume other potential detainee destinations have similar concerns.

Detainee policy is a potent political issue, but concerns over public safety cannot be glossed over out of political expediency. Congress cannot be expected to adhere to an administration timetable for closing the Guantanamo Bay facility if it is not involved in considering how the United States will handle detainees in the future.

A year from now, we may find Guantanamo Bay has no more detainees. Or we may decide adequate facilities are not available elsewhere and leave some detainees at Guantanamo Bay for a longer period of time.

It is more important that we get it right than get it done by a date certain. For the new administration, getting it right means being able to look the American people in the eye and declare them safer than they are today. Only a transparent and comprehensive look at detainee issues can make that outcome possible.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Sam Brownback.

All About Guantanamo Bay Kansas U.S. Army

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