11.10.15

Colorado Sheriffs to President Obama: “Dangerously Naïve” to Bring GTMO to Colorado

Washington, DC — More than 40 elected Colorado County sheriffs have sent a letter to President Obama expressing their “strong opposition” to President Obama’s potential illegal transfer of Guantanamo Bay terrorists to Colorado. News reports indicate that in addition to the Federal Correctional Complex in Florence, the Obama Administration has been strongly considering sending the Guantanamo terrorists to the Centennial Correctional Facility in Fremont County. Fremont County Sheriff James Beicker is the lead signatory of the letter to President Obama.

The letter reads in part: 

We, the undersigned Sheriffs from the State of Colorado, write in strong opposition to your proposed actions to transfer dangerous foreign enemy combatants held at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, military detention facility to civilian prisons in our state. 

As the top law enforcement officials in our counties, elected by our citizens and charged with maintaining public safety and security in our respective counties, we are concerned that utilizing current civilian prisons in our state would significantly – and unnecessarily – endanger our citizens.

The prisons being reviewed are all high security prisons, indicating that officials responsible for the detainment of these individuals believe that the prisoners represent a significant security threat to the citizens of our state. We do not question the ability of Bureau of Prisons to detain these prisoners, but we recognize that there is a more significant public safety concern – the danger posed by sympathizers who would mount an attack on these facilities or commit other acts of terror in our state to draw further attention to their causes…

…The locations that the Department of Defense recently scouted for proposed transfer of these detainees are in close proximity to densely-populated areas of Pueblo and Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs is home to the U.S. Air Force Academy, Peterson Air Force Base, Buckley Air Force Base, and Fort Carson. Pueblo is home to the U.S. Army's Chemical Weapons Depot.

Further adding to our statewide concern is the reality that any detainees housed in our state will likely be accessing the federal court system. That will require transporting them to the federal district courts or federal court of appeals, located in Denver. The transportation of these detainees from Freemont County to the Denver metropolitan area will cross many counties and will create many safety and security threats to our communities that must be addressed by Colorado sheriffs.

Note: Click HERE to read the letter in its entirety.

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