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Republicans:  Closing Guantanamo 'Dangerous'


The opposition Republican Party said U.S. President Barack Obama's plan to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is "dangerous." A Republican lawmaker said the president is endangering national security.

President Obama has long promised to close Guantanamo, where 241 suspected terrorists are held, by January, 2010. Senator Kit Bond of the central state of Missouri said the president has no plan for where to send the detainees when the facility is closed.

"While President Obama has no plan for what to do with these killers, he has pledged to close the terrorist detention facility in January, to fulfill a campaign promise. This is a dangerous case of putting symbolism over security," he said.

In the weekly Republican message, Bond said the American people have a right to know where the detainees are going.

Attorney General Eric Holder told lawmakers Thursday that terrorists will not be released into the United States and the safety of Americans will not be put at risk. The nation's top law enforcement official said the Obama administration is reviewing each detainee's case, and has not decided where to send them.

Senator Bond said Americans also do not want alleged terrorists released to return to the battlefield.

"And we know that terrorists detained at Guantanamo and released have gone back to the fight. The Pentagon has confirmed that at least 18 detainees who were released have gone back to the fight, and 43 more are suspected of doing the same," he added.

While Republicans were talking about national security, President Obama was discussing the U.S. economy.

In his weekly address, Mr. Obama called on Congress to pass reforms in the credit card industry by the end of the month.

"Americans know that they have a responsibility to live within their means and pay what they owe. But they also have a right not to get ripped off by the sudden rate hikes, unfair penalties and hidden fees that have become all too common in our credit card industry," said the president.

The president plans to talk about credit card reform on Thursday (5/14), when he hosts a question-and-answer forum in the Southwestern city of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"We need a durable and successful flow of credit in our economy, but we cannot tolerate profits that depend upon misleading working families. Those days are over," he said.

Mr. Obama said he sees signs that the U.S. economic picture is beginning to brighten. The president pointed to stabilizing consumer spending and home sales, declining unemployment claims and an eroding number of job losses. However, he acknowledged that the unemployment rate is the highest it has been in 25 years, and he said it will take time for the economy to turn around.
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