Hoekstra Says Michigan Officials Should Tour Gitmo

Posted August 13, 2009 at 4:24pm

House Intelligence ranking member Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) made a request Thursday of the federal officials assessing a prison in his home state as a possible site for housing Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detainees: grant Michigan officials and media access to the Guantánamo prison.In separate letters sent to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Attorney General Eric Holder, Hoekstra asks that he be allowed to lead a delegation of state and local officials and the media on a one-day trip to the detention facility. It is “reasonable and prudent— to let state officials and press visit the Cuba-based detention center so they can understand the challenges and risks of taking on such prisoners, said Hoekstra, who is strongly opposed to Guantánamo detainees being placed in the maximum-security prison in Standish, Mich.The Michigan Republican says he wants to lead the delegation in the next three weeks. His request comes on the same day that representatives of the Defense, Justice and Homeland Security departments toured the prison in Standish, which is 145 miles north of Detroit.Hoekstra said the purpose of the trip would be to tour the facility and give Michigan officials unclassified briefings on topics related to the prisoners, including a review of how they were detained. He also argues for the release of classified information on detainees, such as their known terrorist activities, who are under consideration for relocation to the United States.