Topeka Topeka — U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., said Thursday that he won’t release a hold that is blocking President Barack Obama’s nominees until the White House says it won’t transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees to Fort Leavenworth.
Brownback and Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., have blocked 10 nominees for posts at the Pentagon and Justice Department after the Obama administration announced its intention of closing Guantanamo.
Brownback said he wants a public statement from the administration that the detainees won’t be brought to Leavenworth.
Until that happens, the blocking maneuver remains, he said. One of those appointments being held up is Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y., who is waiting to become secretary of the Army.
Gov. Mark Parkinson, a Democrat, also opposes moving Guantanamo detainees to Kansas, but also says it’s not going to happen because military prisoners and detainees legally can’t be co-mingled and because Leavenworth isn’t equipped to hold them.
In a blog, Parkinson wrote, “As a result, you won’t see me leading a chorus of protesters against moving GITMO detainees to Kansas. Instead, I will be quietly working with the White House, the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and the Attorney General’s office. And in the end, reason will prevail. The GITMO detainees will not come to Kansas on my watch.”