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City Commission Opposition of the Relocation of GITMO Detainees to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

The Leavenworth City Commission continues its longterm opposition to the idea of transferring terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the prison facilities at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

In 2008, the Commission first learned of the possibility of transferring detainees to Fort Leavenworth. Leavenworth community members have let us know clearly that they do not want terrorists formerly detained at Guantanamo Bay Cuba being kept in nearby Fort Leavenworth. The Leavenworth community began a grassroots, bipartisan effort to prevent such a transfer here with strong support from the state and federal legislative delegations.

There are many reasons why our community is against this idea. Here are a few:

  • Safety and security of the Leavenworth community. We believe in the U.S. military's capability to provide for the safety and security of detainees but have concerns about the lack of major medical facilities on Fort Leavenworth, the proximity of the prison facilities to privately-owned homes in Leavenworth county and the possibility of supporters of terrorism coming to our community connected to those detained. The Leavenworth Police Department, in its current form, is not fully capable of handling an international terrorist incident.  The housing of the international terrorist suspects would make Fort Leavenworth, the City of Leavenworth and the surrounding metropolitan area a target in the international war on terror.
  • Continued excellence of the Fort Leavenworth mission to serve as the Intellectual Center of the Army. International military from around the world visit our community to exchange ideas with our Command and General Staff College students, most of whom are rising U.S. military officers. This is an important mission that must continue but we're concerned some of our allies may not wish to continue this practice if detainees are housed here.
  • Harm to the economy Many of our citizens work on the installation, utilize the Commissary, PX, and small medical clinic. The heightened security necessary to secure Fort Leavenworth would create significant traffic and service problems that will affect our citizens.