According to a new Rasmussen Poll, a majority (58%) of Americans say the terrorist detention facility at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba should not be closed, while the number in favor of closure is down 15 points to its lowest level of support ever. Sixty percent (60%) of those polled also say suspected terrorists should be tried before military tribunals rather than in U.S. civilian courts.
These sentiments from the public align squarely with Armed Services Republicans’ position of keeping the detention facility open and maintaining Guantanamo as the primary prison for holding suspected terrorists.
The House Armed Services Committee will have a hearing Thursday precisely on this important subject. We hope to focus on law of war detention and the President’s recent executive order establishing periodic review boards for detainees.
William Lynn, DOD Deputy Secretary, and Jeh Johnson, DOD General Counsel, will both be appearing as witnesses as the committee seeks to understand how the President’s executive order affects the larger American detainee policy. Chairman McKeon and several Committee members unveiled legislation last week proposing comprehensive terrorist prosecution and detention policies.