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May 24, 2016

Alberto Mora Testimony Before House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Closing Guantanamo

Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member, and Members of the Subcommittee:

I want to thank you for inviting me here today to participate in this important hearing regarding the status of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Of the three principal questions the Subcommittee will address today, I will focus my comments mainly on the Subcommittee’s third area of inquiry: the implications that the closure of the detention facility would have on the United States’ national security interests. I will also make a few remarks on the Periodic Review Board (PRB) process. 

It is my judgment that the national security interests of the United States would be advanced by permanently closing the Guantanamo detention facility and transferring the detainees there either to a detention facility or facilities in the United States or, if appropriate, to third countries. While one can understand the reasons why Guantanamo was initially chosen as a detention facility for high-level detainees captured in the War on Terror, those reasons no longer apply, circumstances have changed, better alternatives have emerged, and the high costs of Guantanamo are now fully visible and should be regarded as untenable. To keep the Guantanamo detention facility open today would be contrary to our nation’s financial, administrative, military, foreign policy, and national security interests. Other than for reasons of inertia, there is no need to keep the facility open – but there are pressing reasons to close it. 

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