U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss is trying — trying — to jump with both feet into the fight over Gitmo.
Earlier this week, Chambliss introduced legislation to prohibit the Obama administration from bringing Guantanamo detainees into the United States.
(Unless the naval base on the tip of Cuba is already considered the U.S., in which case he’s too late.)
On Thursday, Chambliss held up the Republican end on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” in a discussion of the issue.
You could hardly call it a debate. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, the Senate Democrat paired with Chambliss, agreed in almost every way. As did Matthews — which shows you that President Obama has much persuading ahead of him.
Here’s a small taste of the exchange:
Matthews: What do you think of—do you think our prisons, our maximum security prisons are not adequate to hold them? And we‘ve got some — you know, we‘ve got a lot of killers in our prisons. We‘ve got murderers. We‘ve got people that murdered again and again in our prisons, really horrible people in those maximum security prisons in this country.
Senator Chambliss, you‘re saying they‘re not good enough to hold these terrorists? They‘re not tough enough to hold them?
Chambliss: No. What I‘m saying is that once you put them on American soil, then all of a sudden, Chris, they become eligible for a lot of rights that American criminals have. And these are combatant detainees. These are not ordinary bank robbers or the nasty folks that they would be associated with at these prisons. These are folks that either have killed or tried to kill Americans.
And we need to make sure that they don‘t have the rights given to those criminals that are placed on American soil, such as the right of habeas corpus. And a certain number of them will probably be successful in a habeas corpus action and could be released in America. And we don‘t need to give the Americans exposure of that nature.
We might have to send Bob Barr back to Congress if we’re to generate any heat. He calls such thoughts “irrational” in his morning post on ajc.com:
The president has made a policy decision to close the detention facility at Guantanamo. Members of Congress ought to have the backbone to vote for or against the president’s plan based on its merits, not hide behind irrational fear that somehow a super-human terrorist will be able to scale the walls of the Supermax prison and wreck havoc on a community in their district.
U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey of Marietta has been busy organizing Republican physicians in Congress. Not too hard, since Georgia has three of the 13.
They intend to become a force in next month’s congressional debate over health care. This from an opening salvo that Gingrey has penned for U.S. News & World Report:
[M]ost individuals don’t really have their own health coverage—they get it from their employers. And if the coverage provided in the government-run plan is cheaper than what employers are paying now, logic suggests that employers will drop their current plans and place their workers in the government plan.
Estimates from independent actuaries at the Lewin Group suggest that well over half of all Americans currently with employer-sponsored health coverage—nearly 120 million individuals—would lose their current coverage due to the creation of a government-run health plan.
While you ponder that, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com:
Georgia jobless rate is stable for a third straight month. Police union head says he’s sorry about that baseball bat crack. The 11th Circuit said a jury can decide whether a man was harmed by DeKalb County’s alleged policy of dumping the homeless on neighboring counties. Jeans-wearing Jonesboro police chief is fired by mayor. Cobb County property revaluations buck metro trend. Mayoral candidates pursue Atlanta’s gay vote. Georgia 400 toll project may have life yet. Bush: It’s ‘liberating’ to be out of office.
Jim Wooten wonders when tattoos took the place of marriage vows. David Robinson says we shouldn’t blame the UAW for Detroit’s problems.
From elsewhere in Georgia:
WSJ: Recession turns malls into ghost towns. WP: Obama administration to steer General Motors toward bankruptcy. NYT: Judith Martin on young and snarky Republican women.
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