Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) on Friday, May 20 participated in a tour and inspection of the detention operations, living conditions and medical facilities at Joint Task Force Guantanamo (GTMO) in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
During the visit, Lance received briefings from U.S. military leaders operating the detention center, toured of the base and detention center which holds approximately 170 unlawful combatants, including terrorist trainers, terrorist financiers, bomb makers, terrorist recruiters and former Osama bin Laden bodyguards.
“I was impressed with the professionalism of our military men and women and other government employees working at the U.S. Naval Base based at Guantanamo Bay,” Lance said. “I observed a state of the art detention center where all detainees are treated well in a humane manner.”
Lance also said he observed a new courtroom on the base that was built to try military combatants held at Gitmo. Last year the Seventh District lawmaker voiced strong opposition to the Obama Administration's plans to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his co-conspirators in a civilian court in New York City. Rep. Lance was an original sponsor of bipartisan legislation barring U.S. taxpayer funds for the trials of the 9/11 conspirators in civilian court.
For his part, Lance supports trying terrorists in a military commission on a secure military base. “The courtroom I observed furthered my resolve that enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay should be tried at Guantanamo Bay and not in places like Foley Square in Manhattan or elsewhere in the United States at considerable taxpayer expense. In my opinion, there is no need to build a new facility in the United States.”