Gitmo detainees here? Not on your life.

    An overwhelming bipartisan majority in the U.S. Senate  did something Wednesday that would elicit overwhelming bipartisan support in communities across America.  They voted 90-6 to prevent the transfer of terrorists and those who aided them, now in confinement at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the U.S. mainland.  And, further, they denied the Obama Administration $80 million the President sought to close the Guantanamo holding facility by January.
   The vote came as FBI Director Robert Mueller warned that bringing the bad guys here presented risks that ranged from “concerns about providing financing, radicalizing others” to increasing “the potential for individuals undertaking attacks in the United States.”  And, of course, somewhere there breathes a federal judge who will seek to begin the process to release them, even here if no other nation will take them.
  U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), responding to public concerns, has introduced legislation called “Protecting America’s Communities Act” to prohibit the transfer.  Said Chambliss:
  “People across America are very concerned that this administration has not developed a plan for what to do with these hard-core terrorists once the detention center at Guantanamo is shuttered. Americans are concerned that they will be released into the United States. It is important to remember most detainees held at Guantanamo were captured on the battlefields in Afghanistan or Iraq and were determined to be a threat to our nation’s security. Whatever their ties to terrorists groups or activities, these individuals should never be given the privilege of crossing our borders, even if incarcerated.  To do so would be nothing short of an invitation for al-Qaida to operate inside our homeland.” 
   Under Article I, Section 8, Clause 4 of the Constitution, Congress has the absolute power to exclude aliens for security reasons that include terrorist activities, he said.  He;d add to the no-entry list “an alien who, as of January 1, 2009, was being detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.”   
   Other provisions would seek to ensure that if the President does find a way to transfer them here, they won’t be released until another country is willing to take them.  The legislation also acknowledges that armed conflict exists with al-Qaida, the Taliban and related forces and reaffirms the President’s authority to detain enemy fighters regardless of where they’re captured.
   During the political campaign, President Obama mocked the Bush Administration for its handling of Guantanamo and those held there.  Six months into reality, the realization is beginning to settle in over those who now exercise power that campaign sound bites that comforted the left make for lousy national security policy.

128 comments Add your comment

DB, Gwinnettian

May 21st, 2009
8:23 am

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), responding to public concerns, has introduced legislation called “Protecting America’s Communities Act” to prohibit the transfer. Said Chambliss: “We’re going to get our butts handed to us in 2010 if we don’t find some kind of terra-fear issue to latch onto and by God, this one might just have legs for us if we hype it jes’ rat!”

Fixed your typo.

Get Real

May 21st, 2009
8:28 am

You wrote so quickly you forgot to double space Wooten.

“It is important to remember most detainees held at Guantanamo were captured on the battlefields in Afghanistan or Iraq and were determined to be a threat to our nation’s security.” The key word here being MOST. So what about the ones that were just picked up and determined not to be a threat? And if you hadn’t noticed, we had a homegrown terror cell attempting to blow up a synagogue yesterday. Guess we should ship them to Cuba as well. This is the biggest farce when there are some in American prisons that are just as dangerous, if not more dangerous than these detainees. Obama should’ve come up with a better plan, but those that started this program obviously had no intentions of ending it. Talking about making the country look weak, we don’t even want those that we hold captive to be held on our soil. Extremely hypocritical when we would never take another country’s prisoners, but we want another country to take ours because the big bad republicans and weak democrats in Congress are scared. Or does it have something to do with getting re-elected. Besides we already have some terrorists associated with 9/11 in this country’s prisons. The political winds are blowing and Wooten is helping to fan them. Irresponsible on both sides.

Peter

May 21st, 2009
8:41 am

OK Jim…..what are we suppose to do with them…….Do you ever have an Idea ?

This is just another in the long line of PROBLEMS facing the American Public brought upon us by Bush and Cheney……all problem inherited by Obama.

Give us your thoughts on what to do with them…….like a typical Republican you remain clueless don’t you ?

Ga Values

May 21st, 2009
8:47 am

The last person I would trust on national security would be the draft dodger Saxby Chambliss. When the country needed Saxby he ran the other way. If you want to write about how lobbyist buy legislation, Saxby is your man.

Any Suggestions Wooten?

May 21st, 2009
8:50 am

No ideas, no suggestions on what to do with them. Just opposition. Keep it moving people, theres nothing new to see here. Same old republicans good, democrats bad. The only time Wooten gives credit to a democrat is when they agree with a republican.

Ga Values

May 21st, 2009
8:51 am

you have another typo:”U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.),” should be U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (Socialist, Ethanol Lobby).. Saxby sure does not repesent Georgia and he is not a real Republican but a Big Government, Big Spending, Proamnesty Socialist.

Jackie

May 21st, 2009
8:51 am

We have Federal SUPER-MAX prisons, of which NO ONE HAS EVEN ESCAPED.

Give these individuals a legal and proper hearing to determine if they are to be charged with any crime.

We have the “Blind Sheik” and his cohorts in prison; we had Timothy McVeigh in prison; we have Charles Manson and his followers in prison; we have more than 2 million people in the American gulag.

We housed and maintained Nazi POW’s in Alabama and Mississippi during WWII. We even allowed these prisoners to be transported on trains and they were allowed to move black soldiers from their seats.

Munch

May 21st, 2009
8:56 am

Wooten wets himself and hides under the bed while insulting the brave corrections professionals of this nation.

Wooten seems to think that the Gitmo prisoners would be too much for our feeble correctional system to handle. Or maybe he thinks that they will be sent to the Mayberry jail to room with Otis, the keys in ready reach.

And shame on Harry Reid for falling for this bullshyte.

Shawny

May 21st, 2009
9:00 am

ok, knuckheads. A pentagon report said that of the 534 released from gitmo, 1 in 7 have returned to terrorism. That is approx 76, and that is only the ones that have been identified. Surely, there are more that are active and unidentified than active and identified. So, releasing them is a bad idea.

that leaves 2 alternatives. Jail them in gitmo, or jail them here, since no one else wants them, and clearly, if they were sent elsewhere and then released, then that doesn’t bode well.

So, pick your poison. The clear choice, as indicated in the 90 – 6 congressional vote, is to keep them in gitmo. Congress has info that the public may not, including the pentagon report.

So quit talking nonsense like closing gitmo.

Shawny

May 21st, 2009
9:05 am

Current CNN poll, which generally leans left, is at 52% dont close gitmo vs. 48% close gitmo. So, the general public doesn’t want it closed either.

Billy Bob

May 21st, 2009
9:08 am

Jackie, a prisoner of ware moving someone from their seat? Please explain how that happens.

Tom

May 21st, 2009
9:11 am

Oh, come on, Billy Bob, you of all people should know how that works. The Nazi POWs were, you know, …….like us, I mean real Americans. Not like “those people.”

Davo

May 21st, 2009
9:14 am

Politicians trying to manipulate citizens by using fear. You would think that these detainees were ‘X-men’ or something…no prison can hold them (here) so lets shirk our responsibility and find someone else to take them.

Shameful…on everyone.

Redneck Convert

May 21st, 2009
9:15 am

Well, if you wait long enough these Terrists at Gitmo will die of old age. That will take care of the problem, won’t it? Unless you beleive they can come back after they’re dead and bother us some more.

The more I read about this the gladder I am I’ve got my anti-tank weapon and the two machine guns that I keep for hunting and self defense. If any Activist Judge lets any of these Gitmo people out they’d better not head for Simpsons Trailer Park.

Have a good day everybody.

Davo

May 21st, 2009
9:20 am

Ummm…I just saw Luckovichs cartoon, honestly :)

Now You Know

May 21st, 2009
9:29 am

I didn’t know those who scream about Obama taking their 2nd Amendment rights away were so scary.

William Casey

May 21st, 2009
9:38 am

I voted for Obama and believe that torture is un-American. However, I see no reason to move the detainees from Gitmo. What’s the point?

Lefty

May 21st, 2009
9:44 am

Peter thinks he is so smart, he need to get a real job as a columnist..
He has way too much time on his hands.

Jackie

May 21st, 2009
9:50 am

@ Billy Bob

German POWs during WWII, as reported in many publications, were given passes and other perks during the weekend.

As to your disbelief that Nazi POWs were allowed to move around freely, think of what you have understood to be the “rule-of-law” relative to Jim Crow during the 1940’s. Black soldiers, wearing the uniform of the United States, were NOT ALLOWED to select any seat on the train. Matter of fact, these same black soldiers were still subject to Jim Crow laws regardless of their military status. The POWs were given the same rights and privileges of the majority population.

Many of the POW’s, especially those that had education and technical skills were housed in Georgia/Tennessee. Ever heard of Oak Ridge, TN?

Ga Values

May 21st, 2009
9:52 am

Billy Bob 9:08 am

Do you think our 2 Socialist Senators are Conservatives? Both voted for TARP, both refuse to sign the no earmark pledge and Saxby works for his son’s clients not Georgia. Are they CONSERVATIVES? If so why?

Elephant Whip

May 21st, 2009
9:53 am

“It is important to remember most detainees held at Guantanamo were captured on the battlefields in Afghanistan or Iraq and were determined to be a threat to our nation’s security.”

Actually, that has not been established and that is the problem with Gitmo. No one knows which people are the bad guys and which people were bystanders because there has been no DUE PROCESS.

And this whole 1 out of 7 returning to/joining Al Qaeda issue. What do you think sparks that? Being detained without any hearing for years? Wouldn’t you be a little pissed off?

I do not support terrorists at all. But how does America convince those watching that they should not side with terrorists when we behave like terrorists ourselves with torture, questionable imprisonment, and lack of due process.

America is strong enough to practice its values and protect against the risks involved in practicing them.

Jackie

May 21st, 2009
9:56 am

@ Billy Bob

I forgot to mention Huntsville, AL, where captured Nazi scientists were taken to build our missels. Do you know the name of the chief scientist given credit for developing our space program? Do you think he had help?

Diogenes

May 21st, 2009
10:02 am

Good morning, Jim,

Have you seen the good news?

Gallup has posted a survey showing that Republicans are losing membership in all demographics except weekly church goers.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/118528/GOP-Losses-Span-Nearly-Demographic-Groups.aspx?CSTS=alert

Of course, the sample (only 7139) wasn’t as big as the election in November, but it’s very encouraging. Let’s hope the trend continues. We Georgians certainly need more good news like this.

ncgreybr

May 21st, 2009
10:19 am

Didn’t I read the other day about a MAXIMUM security prison somewhere (maybe in Montana) that is still empty? Why not hold them there and only them.

I’d really hate to think that we, as Americans, are so afraid of people who think differently than us that we don’t even want them in our prisons. Luckovich hit it right on the head today!

And I agree with Elephant Whip, If I was held in prison for years for something I didn’t do, you bet your a** I’d be trying to get back at the guys who kept me.

Big Bucks GOP doing the Lords work

May 21st, 2009
10:23 am

The country’s biggest banks have made moves to bolster their balance
sheets by about $56 billion since the government disclosed the results
of its financial “stress tests” two weeks ago, Treasury Secretary
Timothy F. Geithner said Wednesday.

Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee, Mr. Geithner said that
the financial system had begun to “heal,” and that the Treasury would
soon be introducing the next phase of its financial rescue effort –
the plan to team up with private investors to buy billions of dollars
in toxic assets from banks.

“There are important indications that our financial system is starting
to heal,” Mr. Geithner told lawmakers, though he cautioned that it was
still too early to talk about an “exit strategy” for the government.

Big Bucks GOP doing the Lords work

May 21st, 2009
10:26 am

Google’s chief executive said that while his company considered buying
a newspaper or using its charitable arm to support news businesses
seeking nonprofit status, it is now unlikely to do either.

RealityKing

May 21st, 2009
10:33 am

As a republican state I think Georgia should be open to taking these terrorists. After which we quickly fast track their executions. Let the liberals come and protest…

Big Bucks GOP doing the Lords work

May 21st, 2009
10:34 am

Bank of America’s chief executive, Kenneth D. Lewis, said Wednesday
that he expected more mergers among American banks as the economy
stabilizes, but that his bank would not be looking for further
acquisitions.

williebkind

May 21st, 2009
10:34 am

Lets talke about the professionals at our prisons. The prisoners rape, kill, and use drugs. The inmates operate and control gangs and organized crime outside the prisons. Where are you getting all this professionalism. I suggest you watch history channel a little bit more and not the green earth by al gore.

Big Bucks GOP doing the Lords work

May 21st, 2009
10:37 am

The Treasury Department has decided to bail out GMAC, the former
financing arm of General Motors, with $7.5 billion, which would bring
its total federal assistance to more than $12 billion,

Big Bucks GOP doing the Lords work

May 21st, 2009
10:39 am

The deficit at the federal agency that guarantees pensions for 44
million Americans tripled in the last six months to a record high,
reaching $33.5 billion, largely as a result of surging bankruptcies
among companies whose pensions it expects it will soon need to take
over.

Big Bucks GOP doing the Lords work

May 21st, 2009
10:40 am

Disaster is looming for the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, known
for its classical music scholarships, as its $14 million endowment was
in the hands of Bernard L. Madoff and evaporated in his Ponzi scheme.

jm

May 21st, 2009
10:50 am

I wonder how many of those detainees were actually captured versus turned in for “reward money”.

Dusty

May 21st, 2009
10:56 am

Disconsolate Dusty…..

OH where oh where has my little post gone?

OH where oh where can it be?

With its length cut short

And all sensible retort!!

Oh where oh where can it be???????

Peter

May 21st, 2009
10:58 am

Lefty…….. You having a nice day ? I guess you don’t have anything to say either ?

Dusty

May 21st, 2009
11:04 am

Oh..that last post did not disappear. Oh well..

I want terrorists jailed in America like I want an alligator farm in my back yard.

Did anyone read about the home grown Muslim terrorists who got their religious “training” in prison and were out ready to blow up a Jewish temploe and National Guard airplanes?

Great place those prisons! Now they are training grounds for terrorists and we want more of them there? NO! Keep ALL of them together at Gitmo.

Jackie

May 21st, 2009
11:10 am

@ jm

There were 13 Chinese wigans(sp) whom are Muslims at Gitmo.
These people were there because the Chinese expelled them and no one else would allow them to legally come to their country.
They were able to go to Afghanistan and were turned over for reward money.
They are still at Gitmo because they have no where to go.

Northern Songs Ltd

May 21st, 2009
11:11 am

Big Bucks – please take your cut and paste nonsense somewhere else – like over to Bookman. All the nutz post there.

Brad Steel

May 21st, 2009
11:13 am

Thanks for bringing this pusillanimous emotional non-issue to the political fore-front.

Hopefully, the president and congress are actually tending to issues that matter.

RealityKing

May 21st, 2009
11:14 am

Foreigners caught on a battle field trying to kill American soilders do not deserve prison, they deserve a swift death..

RealityKing

May 21st, 2009
11:19 am

The good thing about all this….

American soilders are now able to kill suspected terrorists instead of attempting to take them prisoner first.

RealityKing

May 21st, 2009
11:20 am

Great job liberals!

Glenn

May 21st, 2009
11:25 am

I suppose we could imprison them at one of our bases in the Marshall Islands, but that would entail reconstructing a facility much like Gitmo anyway, so what would be the point? Gitmo already has a perfect record of preventing escape. I agree with the Senate and the Administration: better the devil you know.

Elephant Whip

May 21st, 2009
11:25 am

Reality King:

So you are saying that our military should take no prisoners? Execute every enemy combatant who surrenders or is subdued?

Boy, with that kind of tactic, nations around the world will be rallying to help us in the war on terror.

@@

May 21st, 2009
11:51 am

It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Obama were to put forth a half-hearted effort on this issue. Only later to say “I tried but….”

Nimble or is it NIMBY?

Mike Gegharty did an excellent piece on Obama:

Moderates thought they were electing a moderate; liberals thought they were electing a liberal. Both camps were wrong. Ideology does not have the final say in Obama’s decision-making; an Alinskyite’s core principle is to take any action that expands his power and to avoid any action that risks his power.

It’s not about the policies or the politics, and it’s certainly not about the principles. It’s about power, and it has been for a long time.

Notice that there was no mention of conservatives. We know a tyrant when we see one…however cool he may appear to be.

Peter

May 21st, 2009
11:57 am

Interesting…………..

It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Obama were to put forth a half-hearted effort on this issue. Only later to say “I tried but….”

What efforts to correct the situation did Bush or the Republican’s come up with ?

I know…they walked away…..left a bunch of problems, and today complain…….as in Jim’s Column.

Things that make you go Hhmmmmmmmm !

Glenn

May 21st, 2009
12:02 pm

This isn’t a silver bullet, but like a lot of people I wonder about the advisability of implanting the Gitmo detainees with locating microdevices. Presumably such a precaution would drive the ACLU crazy, but then the ACLU already is half-crazy. Any thoughts? Is it too invasive, or is the governmental imposition warranted by a clear & present danger to our national security? If we take such measures with certain sex offenders, then why not employ such technology in the case of persons bent on killing us all?

Algonquin J. Calhoun

May 21st, 2009
12:06 pm

Reality Queen, our troops have been murdering and raping and scum like you think it’s alright. You need to find repentance on the business end of a waterboarding!

Tomhere

May 21st, 2009
12:24 pm

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL men……..

If you don’t understand that, or you disagree with it, then start working to change THAT language, you knuckle-draggin’, mouth breathers.

Jackie

May 21st, 2009
12:28 pm

@ Glenn

Being a Californian, I think you may be familiar with Pelican Bay prison. My understanding is the place is considered the epitome of the “Super-Max” prison concept. It is so notorious, the courts took control of the facility because of the harsh tactics employed to house the inmates.

I think your concept of using some type of device akin to an enhanced ankle bracelet that monitors heart beat and respiration along with a small camera, would be appropriate for security of those in Gitmo until their status is resolved.