By: Matt Negrin
House Minority Leader John Boehner on Wednesday echoed a Republican chorus of criticism directed at the Obama administration’s response to the Christmas terror plot, saying Obama should not close the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
“It’s time for the president to halt terrorist transfers to other countries, including Yemen, and to re-evaluate his decision to close the prison at Guantanamo,” he said in a statement to be released Wednesday.
Boehner added: “The administration’s response following this attempted attack is consistent with its dangerous decision to close the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay and bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 9/11 terrorists to trial in the United States through civilian courts, rather than the military commissions already in place. We know the decision to close this prison has not stopped Al Qaeda from plotting attacks on Americans, turning these terrorists over to other countries is not working, and we shouldn’t import them into the United States.”
Boehner said he was “glad” that Obama acknowledged Wednesday that the system of gathering intelligence had failed in allowing a Nigerian with explosives to board a plane headed to the United States. But he said he was troubled by Obama’s “treatment of this matter as a mere law enforcement issue.”
“We’re fighting a war on terror, and this was a terrorist act,” he said. “Our first priority should be gaining intelligence to help prevent the next attack. The threat we face is real, and we don’t need to downplay it. We need to do a better job of connecting the dots and putting in place a homeland security and intelligence plan that helps prevent future attacks before they ever get off the ground. We know Al Qaeda is plotting more attacks, and our security depends on gaining critical intelligence and connecting those dots.”