Kansas officials protesting possible Guantanamo closing

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback answers questions about President Barack Obama's efforts to transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during an Associated Press interview, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, in the sun room at Cedar Crest, the governor's official residence, in Topeka, Kan. Brownback says he believes surveying potential U.S. prison sites is illegal under federal law. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA (KSNT) — Kansas officials have sent President Barack Obama a letter protesting the possible move of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the military prison at Fort Leavenworth.

The officials sent the letter Monday, saying moving terrorism suspects to northeast Kansas would jeopardize families, schools and local businesses. The letter was signed by all six members of the state’s congressional delegation, Gov. Sam Brownback, legislators and local officials.

“Mr. President, the people of Leavenworth, Kansas, – regardless of political parties – are strongly against the plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center and transfer detainees to American soil. We urge you to consider their thoughts and concerns before taking any executive actions to follow through on your plans.”

The letter also predicted some U.S. allies in the Middle East would stop sending officers to train at Fort Leavenworth should detainees be moved there.

Closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center has been a priority for Obama but continues to inspire congressional opposition. The Defense Department earlier this year surveyed seven potential sites for housing detainees in Kansas, Colorado and South Carolina.

The list of elected officials including the entire federal delegation and virtually every state official that represents Leavenworth County who signed on to Reps. Jenkins, Pompeo and Mayor Weakley’s letter include:


Governor Sam Brownback State Treasurer Ron Estes Leavenworth County Commissioner Dennis Bixby
Senator Pat Roberts Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer Leavenworth County Commissioner Clyde Graeber
Senator Jerry Moran State Senator Steve Fitzgerald Leavenworth County Commissioner Robert Holland
Congressman Tim Huelskamp State Rep. Connie O’Brien Leavenworth Mayor Pro Tem Larry Dedeke
Congressman Kevin Yoder State Rep. Tony Barton Leavenworth City Commissioner Nancy Bauder
Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer State Rep. John Bradford Leavenworth City Commissioner Charles Raney
Secretary of State Kris Kobach State Rep. Willie Dove Lansing Mayor Louis Kirby
Leavenworth County Sheriff Andy Dedeke


The Associated Press Contributed to this Story


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