November 17, 2014

Manchin Statement on Guantanamo Bay Fact-Finding Mission

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today issued the following statement after he led a fact-finding mission to Guantanamo Bay on Friday, November 14. Senator Manchin was joined by Senators Angus King (I-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) to review detainee facilities and detention operations, the legal status of individual detainees, and the military commissions process that is used to try detainees.

“Yesterday, I led a bipartisan group of Senators to tour the detention operations at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where I witnessed the profound dedication to duty and professionalism of our troops serving there, including members of the West Virginia Army National Guard.

“The troops stationed at Guantanamo Bay guarding and protecting the prisoners who have tried to do harm to Americans are serving with excellence and distinction, and should be a model for prisons around the world.

“The fact remains, however, that the detention center at Guantanamo Bay does not make us safer, and it is wildly expensive. I believe that Congress must debate what we do with the prisoners currently being housed there. The status quo is not an acceptable solution, and I am confident we can find a solution that protects Americans and responsibly manages our tax dollars. I look forward to this debate.”