U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) is part of a group of senators visiting the detention facility for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. Kirk is one of two Republicans touring the facility in Cuba, which houses suspected terrorists captured overseas. Kirk wants the facility to remain open, but says there haven’t been any clashes with other lawmakers on the trip who want the facility shuttered.

“I think when you’re face-to-face with some of the detainees who are pretty healthy, and pretty committed to war on the United States, you understand just the great danger that is represented by these people here,” Kirk said in a phone interview Friday afternoon from Guantanamo.


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Kirk says he’s in favor of keeping detainees who have a connection with the 2001 terrorist attacks at Guantanamo “forever.”

President Obama had made it one of his campaign promises to shut down the detention center, but opposition in Congress has made such a move unlikely.

Along with Kirk on the trip are Sens. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Chris Coons (D-Delaware), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Angus King (I-Maine).

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