President Obama spoke last month in Hiroshima about charting a course to a future free of nuclear weapons. He discussed the “persistent effort” necessary to eliminate the threat of nuclear war.
To advance that goal, the president should reconsider the Defense Department’s effort to develop a new nuclear weapon called the Long-Range Standoff Weapon.
The Air Force is set next year to accelerate the development of this new nuclear cruise missile. It would carry an upgraded W-80 nuclear warhead and be able to penetrate the world’s most advanced air-defense systems.
We agree that a safe, reliable nuclear stockpile is needed. Our backgrounds, voting records and entire careers show that we understand and value the deterrent effect of our nuclear stockpile.… Seguir leyendo »
Instead of blocking President Obama’s efforts to close the costly Guantánamo Bay detention facility, Congress should be working with him to finally shut it down.
I’ve been to Guantánamo twice, once in 2002, with the former defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other senators, and again in 2013, with Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Denis R. McDonough, the White House chief of staff.
Seeing the facility firsthand reinforces my belief in the great need to close this prison, which has cost us billions of dollars and is a real threat to our national security.
Simply put, Guantánamo is one of the best propaganda tools that terrorists have today.… Seguir leyendo »
There has been a suggestion in recent days that now is not a good time to release a review prepared by the Senate Intelligence Committee of the CIA's detention and interrogation program. But is there ever a good time to admit our country tortured people?
In the wake of 9/11, we were desperate to bring those responsible for the brutal attacks to justice. But even that urgency did not justify torture. The United States must be held to a higher standard than our enemies, yet some of our actions did not clear that bar. It is time to publicly examine how that happened.… Seguir leyendo »
The detention facility on our military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is holding 166 individuals. Most of them have been there a decade or more.
Operating Guantanamo costs about $450 million a year — or about $2.7 million a detainee, according to the Defense Department. Consider this: It costs $78,000 to hold a convicted terrorist in the most secure federal prison in the United States, Supermax in Colorado. With the sequester stretching budgets and Defense Department employees under furloughs, the U.S. is spending, per Guantanamo detainee, roughly 35 times the amount it spends at Supermax detaining a convicted terrorist.
This is a massive misuse of taxpayer money.… Seguir leyendo »