TOPEKA – (December 16, 2015) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has asked the Department of Defense and Department of Justice to provide information about their activities aimed at relocating detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the U.S. mainland, particularly Fort Leavenworth.
Schmidt today filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the Defense Department, Justice Department, and divisions of both departments requesting various information about activities undertaken in preparation for transferring detainees. The requests also ask for information about funds expended on preparations and the results of any assessments of the suitability of Fort Leavenworth facilities as a site for housing detainees.
“We are gathering information about what activities the federal government has undertaken in preparation for a possible detainee transfer and how the federal government has justified any preparation and planning in the face of clear congressional prohibitions on the use of funds for those purposes,” Schmidt said. “We also are trying to learn more about the federal government’s assessment of Fort Leavenworth as a potential relocation site.”
Schmidt’s request comes four weeks after he and the attorneys general of Colorado and South Carolina sent a letter to President Obama advising him that any attempt to relocate detainees to the mainland would be illegal under federal law. The attorneys general requested a response to their letter by December 4, but no response has been received.
“We are actively engaged in fact finding and legal analysis related to this situation,” Schmidt said. “There appears to be a conflict between federal law’s clear prohibition on preparing to transfer detainees to the mainland and the manner in which the federal government has busied itself making just such preparations.”
A copy of the attorney general’s FOIA request to the Department of Defense (Office of the Secretary and Joint Staff) is available here: http://1.usa.gov/1ZcQ0kB
. Identical letters also were sent to U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Transportation Command, Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Department of Justice (Office of the Attorney General and Office of Legal Counsel) and Federal Bureau of Prisons.