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Chambliss bill would keep Guantanamo Bay open

U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss

U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss

Washington - U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss joined fellow Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Marco Rubio of Florida, and Connecticut independent Joe Lieberman in efforts to block closure of the controversial prison.

They cited events leading to the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden as justification.

"The events of last week underscore the importance of information we gain from detainees, particularly those at Guantanamo Bay," Chambliss said in a statement.

No action was taken on the Senate floor on Wednesday other than some brief discussion of SB 944, the "Detaining Terrorists to Secure America Act," senate staff said.

On May 1, President Barack Obama authorized a strike force to attack bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, leaving bin Laden and four others dead. Bin Laden claimed responsibility for the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, which killed more than 3,000 Americans in New York City, Washington and rural Pennsylvania.

The Obama administration credited intelligence gathered from detainees at Guantanamo for pinpointing bin Laden's location.

Chambliss, the ranking Republican member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, suggested the operation to eliminate bin Laden couldn't have happened without information obtained at Guantanamo.

The bill also would prohibit the transfer of foreign terror detainees to prisons inside the American borders. A similar bill was introduced last week in the House, authorizing the U.S. to pursue suspected terrorists in other countries.