The population at Guantanamo has decreased considerably, and only 91 prisoners are currently housed there. Thirty-five of those detainees would be transferred to other countries, according to the other plan, while dozens of the remaining prisoners could be housed in 13 locations in the U.S. Those locations have not been identified.
U.S. communities chosen to house terrorism suspects would be at greater risk of a terrorist attack, James said.
“These guys in Iraq and Afghanistan, they attack police stations almost as a recreational sport,” he said. “It makes the citizens” near the proposed prisons face an increased likelihood “that Americans are going to be hurt who live in proximity to these places.”
The detention facility on the U.S. naval base in Cuba should be turned over to the federal prison system and “any American citizen convicted of terrorism … should be incarcerated down in Guantanamo with their brothers,” James said.
Guantanamo was one of the places that has come under congressional scrutiny for past interrogation techniques, such as water-boarding, in an attempt to gain information from some terrorism suspects.
James, who deployed to Guantanamo twice, said, “We have turned the corner on that. That is a violation of federal law to use any of those tactics right now.
“… By the time I went to Guantanamo, all of the CIA personnel were gone,” said James. “I had nothing to do with any of that stuff and I was not there while any of those types of things were going on.
“I did not see anything that was illegal at the time,” he added. “There was certainly no water-boarding or any of that kind of stuff.”
James wrote the 2008 book “Fixing Hell: An Army Psychologist Confronts Abu Ghraib,” in which he talked about his time at Guantanamo and his efforts to correct problems at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.