NORTHBROOK, Ill. - U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk today released the following statement following news that the defense official charged with moving the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to Thomson, Illinois – Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Policy Phillip Carter – unexpectedly resigned on Friday.
“Last Thursday, members of the Illinois congressional delegation submitted specific security and legal questions to the Secretary of Defense on issues surrounding the proposed military detention of Al Qaeda detainees on U.S. soil. We now understand that the key official responsible for answering our questions resigned the following day. Phillip Carter’s resignation raises further questions.
“Key questions for Illinois remain, including:
Q. Where and how will the civilian trials/military commissions of the estimated 40 detainees be held and secured?
Q. Under what legal authority will another estimated 75 non-POW detainees be held without trial or commission?
Q. How will the families of judges and prosecutors be protected?
Q. Where will surgery or intensive care be offered -- Mercy (9 miles away), Morrison (13 miles away) or CGH Medical Center (21 miles away)?
“This is the second major Administration official in charge of GITMO matters to resign. This month, the White House Counsel, Greg Craig, was let go after the President reversed positions on the release of DoD photos, the use of military commissions and the incarceration of 75 detainees without trial or commission. Secretary Carter was the key Obama Administration official in charge of bringing Guantanamo detainees to Illinois. He led the briefings in Thomson. The Administration is left with many unanswered questions and no key officials to advance this flawed proposal.
“Congressional leaders cannot advance the appropriations bill for the Department of Justice because they fear they will lose on a motion to block the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. At the moment, it appears the Administration lacks key officials or congressional votes to back their proposal.”