2016 News Releases

AG Derek Schmidt: Newly released records confirm plans to close Guantanamo, not much more

Release Date: Dec 02, 2016

TOPEKA – (December 2, 2016) – A new batch of records provided yesterday to Kansas under a federal court order confirms the Obama administration undertook extensive planning to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay but no other details were revealed in the latest documents released, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.

The 345 pages of records released yesterday were completely redacted except for the document’s title, which was “Plan for Closing the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility” and the marking that the records were considered “Confidential.”

“These newly released documents once again confirm the federal administration has conducted extensive preparatory work to close Guantanamo,” Schmidt said. “But because the entire contents of the planning documents released yesterday are redacted, we have no increased ability to determine what those plans involve.”

This is the third group of records released since Schmidt field a federal lawsuit in July to enforce his Freedom of Information Act request for records related to plans for closing Guantanamo and potentially relocating terrorist detainees to the U.S. mainland, possibly including facilities at Fort Leavenworth. In total, the federal government now has released 1,078 pages of records pursuant to the order of the federal court. However, most of the released documents have been heavily or entirely redacted. The information released to date has indicated that the Defense Department spent funds to assess Fort Leavenworth and other sites during a period when Congress had prohibited expenditures for relocating detainees. It also has indicated the federal government was aware that placing terrorist detainees on the U.S. mainland could present security risks for communities where detention facilities were situated.

The fully redacted 345 pages released yesterday, as well as the 732 pages released on November 15 and the single-page document released on September 20 are available at http://bit.ly/2f7Ty8Z.

Under provisions of the federal court order, additional documents are expected to be released in the coming months. Attorney General Schmidt and the attorneys general of Colorado and South Carolina, which also have been considered potential sites for relocating detainees, last month wrote to President-elect Donald Trump and asked him to take steps to prevent any efforts to close Guantanamo in the waning days of the current presidential administration.

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.