Senate Dems Reject Funds to Close Guantanamo

Senate Democrats yesterday followed the lead of House Democrats who last week refused the president's request for $80 million to fund the closing of Guantanamo. According to Sen. Harry Reid:

"Democrats under no circumstances will move forward without a comprehensive, responsible plan from the president. We will never allow terrorists to be released into the United States."

Has Reid decided, without the benefit of trials, that the 240 involuntary residents of Guantanamo are all terrorists? [more ...]

Reid opposes bringing Guantanamo detainees to the United States for criminal trials. But what if the detainees are convicted and sentenced in Guantanamo (perhaps by vaguely defined military commissions)? A Reid spokesman said Reid wouldn't oppose the eventual transfer of detainees to American prisons, but Reid's statement echoed the ridiculous Republican claim that detainee-terrorists are just too dangerous to imprison in any of the fifty states.

“You can’t put them in prison unless you release them,” he said. “We will never allow terrorists to be released in the United States.”

What Reid means by "release" is unclear. Inmates are commonly transferred from prison to prison, usually in belly chains and leg irons. They might be "released" from a particular prison but they aren't released from custody.

Odds are that Reid isn't troubling himself with deep thought. Republicans are having fun scaring their constituents and Reid is playing along.

Because suspects may be brought to the U.S. from Guantanamo to face trial, Republican leaders are raising the prospect of "terrorists coming soon to a neighborhood near you," in the words of one party statement.

Maximum security prisons house domestic terrorists and serial killers. Guantanamo detainees surely pose no greater threat to neighborhoods than home-bred dangerous inmates.

The claim that prisons holding terrorists would become targets for terrorist attacks is far-fetched. Why would terrorists attack an institution housing their fellow terrorists? Do Republicans and Reid envision massive jail breaks from maximum security prisons? They're called "maximum security" for a reason, after all.

The Obama administration says it will reveal a "hefty part" of its plan to close Guantanamo on Thursday, but it's not clear that any plan will satisfy Reid if it calls for some detainees to continue their detention within American borders. If that's the case, Reid's position is irresponsible. Not only might it delay Guantanamo's closing, it plays into the fear-mongering that characterized the Bush administration.

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    LOL... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed May 20, 2009 at 08:55:31 AM EST
    Barack Obama ran a campaign that was based, at least some of the time, on the notion that the American people were smart enough to see through cheap demagoguery

    Now, THAT is funny stuff.

    Meanwhile, if you can handle even more chuckles, here's another headline talking about what a great job Obama is doing making Republicans happy! Because if Lindsey Graham thinks you're doing a great job you must be a "progressive" "liberal" "new kinda hopey changey" guy:

    If one was to go by the amount of problems the president had with the old system during the campaign, the paucity of real cleaning is nothing short of remarkable. His pledge to leave Iraq within 16 months went up in smoke just days after he took office. At this point he seems determined to leave as many as 50,000 troops in the nation indefinitely.

    But the moves of the past week were nothing short of monumental. His pledge of transparency vanished on Wednesday, when he reversed a Pentagon decision to release photos of detainee abuse. The move came under pressure from military officials and hawkish Congressmen, who feared that revealing the extent of the mistreatment would put the nation's assorted wars at risk.


    I said "at least some of the time"! (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Steve M on Wed May 20, 2009 at 09:45:32 AM EST
    Contrast it, for example, with the John Kerry campaign which never met a conservative talking point it wouldn't run in terror from.

    I suspect your laughter relates to the fact that Obama wasn't above employing cheap demagoguery himself, which is true of course, but a completely separate point.  When the Republicans tried to beat him with cheap arguments he tended to stand up to them.


    He'll stand up... (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Dadler on Wed May 20, 2009 at 09:51:29 AM EST
    ...if it's a relatively harmless personal jibe at him, but when it's something politically vital that requires him to play mean hardball and battle the Republicans, please...Obama is a wimp of the highest order.

    Do you even understand (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Steve M on Wed May 20, 2009 at 10:39:38 AM EST
    that I am talking about the campaign?

    yes, i was making a larger point (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Dadler on Wed May 20, 2009 at 12:39:56 PM EST
    the campaign is over.  obama, as president, has yet to stand up to anyone in power with anything approaching what is necessary; and perversely he is not tough enough with or willing to be unpopular with THE OPPOSITION, while he seems to have no problem constantly disappointing or pissing off those who supported him and bought into his act.  He is so keen to appease the other side, he doesn't care if he alienates his own "base".  Either that or he was a pathological liar from the get-go.

    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by jbindc on Wed May 20, 2009 at 09:02:00 AM EST
    The Dems want more details about where the detainees will go before they fund it, which the WH agrees with:

    "We agree with Congress that before resources, that they should receive a more detailed plan," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters yesterday. He said Obama will address tomorrow whether the detainees would be transferred to U.S. prisons, sent to other countries or a combination of both.

    Once those details are resolved, Gibbs added, "the president and Congress will work together on a timeline for a renewed request for whatever resources are needed." Asked whether Obama's closing date would be pushed back, he said, "There's been no change in the date from the executive order."

    And, there's this:

    Reid said the Senate will make sure that any final plan includes a prohibition on the transfer of detainees to U.S. prisons. "Can't put them in prison unless you release them," he said.

    To forestall a showdown with Republicans, Democratic leaders unveiled an amendment to the war funding bill that "explicitly bars" using proceeds from the legislation "to transfer, release or incarcerate any of the Guantanamo detainees in the United States."

    I think (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Steve M on Wed May 20, 2009 at 09:20:44 AM EST
    that it is smart of the White House to save face by acting like this is a reasonable objection that will get worked out, as opposed to letting it get portrayed as the Congressional Democrats handing Obama a stinging rebuke.

    But still, we're getting all these quotes from Democrats acting like it's somehow the end of the world if these detainees are transferred to prisons here in the U.S.  Does that even make sense?  It pains me to see them make arguments that are so painfully stupid.


    Someone said it above (none / 0) (#13)
    by jbindc on Wed May 20, 2009 at 09:37:30 AM EST
    It's about re-election.  You don't think people who live near a prison want these people there, do you?  It doesn't matter if they won't or can't escape, or the fact that these same people live near where hundreds of hardened and dangerous criminals could also get out.  And rational or not, the thought has to run through people's minds that if any of these detainees were terrorists (or are now after their treatment), then maybe they'd have friends who would do damage to get them out - I don't mean bomb a prison - that would defeat the purpose, but what if the fear exists that something could happen to the towns near the prison?

    All these thoughts and feelings are out there, and whether we think those are rational, really doesn't matter.  Those people vote, and would probably not look too kindly on these detainees being transferred from a secure military base on an island to their back yard.


    I don't agree (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Steve M on Wed May 20, 2009 at 09:43:58 AM EST
    I think the number of people who live next to a Supermax, and would change their vote based upon the fact that a dangerous criminal got transferred to their local prison, is very very small.  Of course it's about re-election, but I think the Democrats are entirely spineless for worrying about such a thing.

    Maybe (1.00 / 1) (#19)
    by jbindc on Wed May 20, 2009 at 09:52:48 AM EST
    But my guess is if the government decided to build a special super max facility to house these detainees in Mid-town Manhattan, Alcatraz in San Franscico Bay, or Hyde Park in Chicago, we'd see a lot of "liberals" contacting their members of Congress in outrage.

    I dont know what kind of "liberals"... (1.00 / 0) (#79)
    by Thanin on Wed May 20, 2009 at 05:36:37 PM EST
    youve been exposed to, but youre describing the actions of a conservative.

    except that terrorists are different (none / 0) (#86)
    by diogenes on Wed May 20, 2009 at 08:46:24 PM EST
    How about several suicide bombers hitting a lightly-guarded US prison to try to get the terrorists out in the chaos?  Your garden variety murderer, even if a gang member, does not have swarms of people willing to serve as suicide bombers.

    god forbid (none / 0) (#30)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed May 20, 2009 at 11:07:07 AM EST
    we should have any dangerous criminals in custody on american soil.  we could never ever handle such a thing.
    after all, we only have the largest prison population in the world.
    (btw) that is not even based on population.   its simply the largest.

    First of all, I don't think anyone really (none / 0) (#84)
    by Anne on Wed May 20, 2009 at 06:30:19 PM EST
    lives "next" to a SuperMax facility - I think they put those in areas where there is little population, and lots and lots of perimeter land.  Lots.  

    But that being said, I think you're right - dangerous criminals are sent to prison every day, and no one makes a peep.  Call me crazy, but I feel better knowing someone truly dangerous is inside the prison and not outside it, but that's just me.

    I think the objections to prisons in populated areas - neighborhoods - are not so much about who is inside, but who is coming to visit those who are on the inside.  People who live in pretty suburban neighborhoods don't want visitors from the ghetto coming there and maybe deciding to take advantage of the upscale surroundings, if you know what I mean...

    I just don't understand why people like Reid and all the other fear-mongerers apparently think we're all so stupid that we can't be reasoned with, that we wouldn't be able to grasp the concept of super-maximum security, or can't relate to the reality that that's what we do with those who are convicted - we send them to prison.  Is it possible that some of those elected to Congress managed to do so with the equivalent of a lizard brain that is only capable of the most primitive of emotions - like fear?

    I'm just so tired of the lack of leadership, the absence of common sense and the playing to fear - it's legitimizing all of the worst of the Bush policies.


    So (none / 0) (#9)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed May 20, 2009 at 09:08:31 AM EST
    If it's just a matter of working out the details, why did they already reject it as if the president was their adversary?  Why didn't they have talks, prez comes to them with the detailed plan, and they do what needs to be done?

    Your quotes are just part of the Kabuki theater they're playing, stalling in the hopes of not having to do anything.

    See my comment about Greenwald.


    I think (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by jbindc on Wed May 20, 2009 at 09:18:35 AM EST
    Because now Obama can say "See, I didn't break my promises!  It's CONGRESS that's holding this up." And yes, when Obama made this pronouncement on his first few days in office, why didn't he have a plan in hand to give to Congress?  Did he and his staff not think about it because he was too busy with all the inaugural festivities?

    So I agree - just like the hoo-hah about Pelosi and her lies - nothing is going to get done on any of this, so I've decided to stop getting worked up about any of it because it doesn't do any thing more than raise my blood pressure.  The new boss isn't any different than the old boss, and I bet we'll be here a year from now having this same conversation.

    (Although, to be fair, I think it is a good idea to you know, wait until we actually have a plan before doing something of this scope. Unlike what happened, say, with the stimulus bill).


    What does that even mean? (none / 0) (#18)
    by sj on Wed May 20, 2009 at 09:52:41 AM EST
    "Can't put them in prison unless you release them," he said.

    I know what all those words are, but it's like reading "My milk is tomorrow's broken bone."  They words are kind of related but it doesn't parse to me.


    Greenwald says it best: (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed May 20, 2009 at 09:04:08 AM EST
    What is most damaging about all of this is exactly what Goldsmith celebrated:  that Obama's political skills, combined with his status as a Democrat, is strengthening Bush/Cheney terrorism policies and solidifying them further.  For the last eight years, roughly half the country -- Republicans, Bush followers -- was trained to cheer for indefinite detention, presidential secrecy, military commissions, warrantless eavesdropping, denial of due process, a blind acceptance of any presidential assertion that these policies are necessary to Keep Us Safe, and the claim that only fringe Far Leftist Purists -- civil liberties extremists -- could possibly object to any of that.

    Now, much of the other half of the country, the one that once opposed those policies -- Democrats, Obama supporters -- are now reciting the same lines, adopting the same mentality, because doing so is necessary to justify what Obama is doing.


    And I hope Obama's supporters are happy.  I'd laugh at the irony, if I didn't so much want to cry.  I knew having a man the media and his supporters swooned over was a bit dangerous.  I didn't know just how dangerous until now.  Tis better to elect someone the media HATES, because at least they have to answer for their behavior on some level.

    I brought parts of that same post (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by Anne on Wed May 20, 2009 at 09:37:02 AM EST
    over to the "Obama Shifting to the Center" thread yesterday, because I thought Glenn's point that what is really happening is that the Bush policies are now being considered part of that center was spot-on.  I had hoped this president would politely but firnly and once and for all, reject these policies, but instead, I am horrified to realize that by embracing and continuing them, he is helping to define us by them - and that's not who I want us to be.

    As for the Gitmo funding, if Obama thinks it's such a sensible idea to present the Congress with an actual plan, why didn't he do that at the time he requested the funding?  Or was Congress just supposed to give him a blank check and trust that whatever plan he came up with, the money would be well-spent?

    My sense is that Obama doesn't want to have to put an actual plan to paper, where he will have to commit to where it is these detainees are going; I think this is Classic Obama, who is used to talking the talk, and reaping all kinds of praise for it, but when it comes to walking the walk, he has great difficulty deciding which foot to lead with.  


    Congress (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed May 20, 2009 at 09:51:31 AM EST
    AND Obama are both stalling on the Gitmo legislation....basically just looking busy, while hoping the clock runs out before they have to actually make any progress at all.

    At some point, Obama will own and be responsible for the Bushian policies...but I think he'll need a "Katrina moment" first, so the media stops with the love-fest.


    tis true... (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by of1000Kings on Wed May 20, 2009 at 01:28:52 PM EST
    we humans are incredibly shortsighted...and selfish...

    If we really just embraced our nature... (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Thanin on Wed May 20, 2009 at 05:47:21 PM EST
    it'd be thunderdome.

    Lets have ideals evolve, not devolve.


    and then according to the teachings of JC (none / 0) (#57)
    by of1000Kings on Wed May 20, 2009 at 01:36:12 PM EST
    none of us shall see the Kingdom of Heaven...

    guess most people are fine with that, though...just get baptised and you're all good (even though there are parts in the bible that say that even those who are baptised will be turned away if they haven't completed the other steps)...

    ehhh, just ranting, though...

    need to get back to reality (eradicate all muslims...let's go)


    Why attack the prison? (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by webbob on Wed May 20, 2009 at 09:58:58 AM EST
    "Why would terrorists attack an institution housing their fellow terrorists?"

    Don't you guys ever get out to the movies?  Don't you even read the comics?  The terrorists will of course try to bust out their mastermind supervillain buddies!  They'll probably let Lex Luthor escape at the same time!

    This actually happened this week (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Wed May 20, 2009 at 11:02:19 AM EST
    in Mexico, except it was drug cartel busting out its own.

    And it was a crappy prison (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed May 20, 2009 at 01:14:24 PM EST
    manned heavily by drug cartel collaborators.  Bears zero resemblance to having jihadi terrorists incarcerated in a U.S. supermax.  None.

    So true, and probably an inside job. (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by oculus on Wed May 20, 2009 at 10:43:46 PM EST
    I look at that as a positive (none / 0) (#38)
    by ruffian on Wed May 20, 2009 at 12:29:53 PM EST
    At least we would know where the terrorist target was - the supermax prison housing the detainees. Fly-paper.

    Maybe then I could leave my shoes on at the airport.


    I don't recall Harry Reid ever (5.00 / 5) (#29)
    by oculus on Wed May 20, 2009 at 11:03:06 AM EST
    being as forceful when Bush was President.

    Exactly (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by ruffian on Wed May 20, 2009 at 12:27:21 PM EST
    Picked a fine time to stop being a rubber stamp.

    The FBI director worries (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Manuel on Wed May 20, 2009 at 11:29:34 AM EST
    Those terrorist prisoners might be a bad influence on our current maximum security prison population.

    Goodness... (none / 0) (#34)
    by BigElephant on Wed May 20, 2009 at 12:06:06 PM EST
    This is an example of why the American public has lost faith in folks like the FBI.  Anyone who has had any exposure to the actual prison culture in this country knows better than this.  The FBI Director trying to play up this to naive soccer moms and dads is reprehensible.  Unfortunately, those are the people that apparently drive policy in this country (the well to do, yet uninformed).

    Yes I can where (none / 0) (#36)
    by coast on Wed May 20, 2009 at 12:22:37 PM EST
    a man who has only been involved in the justice system for 35 yrs and has been director of the FBI for the last 8 yrs would not have any idea what goes on in our prisons.  Great point.

    Did the director weigh in (none / 0) (#40)
    by Anne on Wed May 20, 2009 at 12:33:19 PM EST
    on what influence has been brought to bear on the "regular" criminals by those terrorists who already reside in our prison system?

    From Glenn Greenwald this morning:

    Anyone with the most minimal amount of rationality would look at the fact that we have already convicted numerous alleged high-level Al Qaeda Terrorists in our civilian court system (something we're now being told can't be done) -- including the cast of villains known as the Blind Shiekh a.k.a. Mastermind of the First World Trade Center Attack, the Shoe Bomber, the Dirty Bomber, the American Taliban, the 20th Hijacker, and many more -- and are imprisoning them right now in American prisons located in various communities.  

    We've been doing that for two decades.  What are all the bad and scary things that have happened as a result?  The answer is:  "nothing."  

    What say the director about that?


    Probably because (none / 0) (#41)
    by jbindc on Wed May 20, 2009 at 12:37:34 PM EST
    I believe all the ones Glenn mentioned were held in solitary confinement.

    I agree that what he said (none / 0) (#43)
    by coast on Wed May 20, 2009 at 12:45:07 PM EST
    was in all likelyhood incorrect.  I would like to know what he based his conclusions on.  However you can't question his ability to speak on the subject as BE did in his post.  

    He does know better... (none / 0) (#59)
    by BigElephant on Wed May 20, 2009 at 01:51:17 PM EST
    I'm not saying the director of the FBI is the naive one.  As I said, he is "playing" up to the soccer parents.  He knows the truth, and he knows he's not speaking it, and he knows why he's not.  

    But many soccer parents will hear that and say, "My god, these terrorists will radicalize the prison population against us!  Don't let them into our prisons!"  

    It's sad, but all too common.  

    But I would also add that it surprising how few people know what happens behind bars.  Don't talk to police on the street, talk to the COs in the pen.  Police have some idea, but you'll definitely get a much better picture talking to real COs who live it.  Or even better yet, talk to someone who just got out of somewhere like the Q.


    you could have left out the otherwise.. (none / 0) (#69)
    by of1000Kings on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:50:21 PM EST
    and been just fine...

    also, most of these soccer moms (none / 0) (#70)
    by of1000Kings on Wed May 20, 2009 at 03:01:42 PM EST
    probably also thought there were WMDs in Iraq...lol...

    guess that's where not thinking and just taking everything the government says as fact will get you...


    Who cares if there were WMDs in Iraq (none / 0) (#73)
    by BigElephant on Wed May 20, 2009 at 03:26:05 PM EST
    My kids are playing soccer and too young to fight in a war.  As long as other people's children die, it's fine by me.  It's hard for me to think otherwise.

    My cousin just got out after (none / 0) (#72)
    by coast on Wed May 20, 2009 at 03:25:17 PM EST
    serving a five year term.  Needless to say he said it was not pleasant.  Seems more confrontations dealt with race than anything else.

    wow (none / 0) (#39)
    by ruffian on Wed May 20, 2009 at 12:32:14 PM EST
    Think there is anything those detainees can tech the unibomber? I doubt it.

    The Unabomber (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed May 20, 2009 at 01:21:30 PM EST
    is not the issue, obviously.  What is the issue and what Mueller is concerned about is that these prisons hold a large number of extremely alienated African-American men who've been turning to Islam in fairly large numbers.

    If the jihadis were allowed to mix freely with these folks, I'd say Mueller is not wrong to be concerned about it, especially after the example of the way Palestinian prison camps ended up becoming full-fledged terrorist training schools.  Ask the Israelis about that.

    Where he's nuts is the idea that any Gitmo jihadis sent to U.S. prisons would ever be allowed to mix freely with the rest of the prison population.


    I can see what he means (none / 0) (#65)
    by ruffian on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:07:19 PM EST
    if that would ever happen. But your last line is the point. A convicted terrirost, or even one awaiting trial (or military commission, or whatever they come up with) will not be mixing with the general population. The unibomber is the only one they would even have a hope of catching a glimpse of.

    I saw a story on CNN at the airport last week about a prison in Montana (?) they built expecting to house prisoners from other states, but the contracts fell through. Just sitting there empty. Perfect place.


    Not only... (none / 0) (#74)
    by BigElephant on Wed May 20, 2009 at 03:35:29 PM EST
    would the prisoners not mix freely, but even if they did they wouldn't mix with the black population.  A couple of things:  (1) Blacks don't mix with Arabs in any of the major maximum security prisons. (2) Blacks aren't switching to Islam anymore.  That peaked around 1990 and pretty much is dead since about 2002.  (3) Even when they did mix it was generally NOI, a very different type of movement.  

    It would be a LOT easier to radicalize citizens who aren't in jail, but share a lot more in common (for example attend the same mosque).  But even that happens rarely.  It's just propaganda by the FBI.


    Interesting points (none / 0) (#78)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed May 20, 2009 at 03:59:38 PM EST
    But Mueller is not generally an idiot or a rank propagandist, though, so I'd like to know more about what he's concerned about before crossing him off as a tool.

    When you say "blacks don't mix with Arabs," what do you mean?  Do they keep their distance voluntarily, or are they segregated by prison officials?  My understanding is that prison officials have generally been keeping different ethnic groups away from each other because that's so often an excuse for violence, but that's now being challenged by ACLU or something and they may have to start mixing the populations up again.

    FWIW, a couple of very dedicated NOI people I used to know (not in prison!) were truthfully not very far in their attitudes from Islamic fundamentalists, and I don't think it would take a whole lot for folks like that to veer off from NOI and into a jihadi circle-- maybe not to fly planes into buildings themselves, but to provide support, shelter and other kinds of help.


    Now there is an idea (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Manuel on Wed May 20, 2009 at 07:41:36 PM EST
    Maximum security terrorist prisons as economic stimulus.  Why not?  Those aren't bad jobs and they help the contsruction industry.  Why aren't the Dems in congress thinking along these lines?

    Oh, please what? (none / 0) (#91)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu May 21, 2009 at 12:27:47 AM EST
    "Get real" about what?

    I don't see what the numbers or their literacy has to do with anything I said above.

    And as for hosting them, I was contemplating suggesting to my state rep that Vermont should make a bid for them.  We'd be comfortable with that.  They'd find little interest in their ideology among the felonious farm kids in our prisons, so they wouldn't have to be restricted so completely, and it would be kind of a nice gesture to remove the hyper-anxiety from the citizens of the rest of the country.


    Expect this same thing to happen (4.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 20, 2009 at 06:19:07 AM EST
    with healthcare if Obama even actually puts something forth.

    I think this is what Obama really wanted to happen anyway. Now he can pass the buck to congress.

    This is exactly true (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed May 20, 2009 at 08:53:58 AM EST
    And I just don't see how or why Congress is letting themselves be the scapegoats on these things.

    But I am definitely not surprised or anything.


    and whether or not they're terrorists really (none / 0) (#52)
    by of1000Kings on Wed May 20, 2009 at 01:22:44 PM EST
    doesn't matter...

    due process, F due process...
    let's put some more Japanese people in concentration camps...maybe we could round up some people of Jewish faith... (ehhh, know that won't happen considering their status in our society)...

    naw, let's just eradicate the world of Muslims...ya, that's nothing similar to anything that's happened before in history...


    You need to read your history (1.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:02:22 PM EST
    Or you don't know what a concentration camp is.  Or you do and want to make a dramatic point bereft of anything useful.

    Interesting (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Steve M on Wed May 20, 2009 at 03:43:43 PM EST
    Unless you're of the belief that the Nazis hold the exclusive trademark to the term, it actually seems rather apropos.  What is a concentration camp, other than a place where you round up a whole bunch of civilians to keep them under control?

    sorry... (none / 0) (#68)
    by of1000Kings on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:44:04 PM EST
    detainment camp...

    drama lost, dang...


    Here is the real reason (none / 0) (#2)
    by Saul on Wed May 20, 2009 at 07:24:39 AM EST
    for not allowing detainees of Gitmo not to brought in to the U.S.

    U.S. Representatives and Senators are afraid  that Gitmo detainees in their state or district would prevent  them  from being re elected.  

    End of Story

    This is ridiculous (none / 0) (#3)
    by Steve M on Wed May 20, 2009 at 08:44:45 AM EST
    Okay, so the Democrats are sometimes more conservative than I would like.  I can handle that.  But don't be friggin' STUPID.

    Barack Obama ran a campaign that was based, at least some of the time, on the notion that the American people were smart enough to see through cheap demagoguery and listen to rational counter-arguments.  He won with that campaign, too, but many of the Democrats seem not to have noticed.

    Sometimes I think Pres. Obama hasn't (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by oculus on Wed May 20, 2009 at 10:56:19 AM EST
    noticed either.  

    Thank God (none / 0) (#4)
    by CDN Ctzn on Wed May 20, 2009 at 08:47:02 AM EST
    there were no sharp metal objects nearby when I read this post. These guys absolutely disgust me. If Reid is so afraid of Terrorists in his country, perhaps he should move farther away from Washington; it is in close proximity to Langley and CIA headquarters.

    In today's NYt op-ed (none / 0) (#20)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 20, 2009 at 09:54:43 AM EST
    by one of our 'favorites", Maureen Dowd, I must say that she rose above her customary Norma Desmond caricature to deliver a creative and devastating article entitled: "Cheney Grabs A Third Term".  Essentially, she has Cheney and Rummy being amazed at not only how easy it was to bring Obama into line, but also, that his own party will not give him the money to close Gitmo.  No death by a thousand cuts, in this article, just death by a shiv between the shoulders.

    Maureen (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed May 20, 2009 at 09:56:40 AM EST
    wasn't as down on Cheney's first and second terms as she is on his 3rd term.  Wonder why?

    Teresa, (none / 0) (#23)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 20, 2009 at 10:10:14 AM EST
    in this article, Maureen is not so much down on Cheney as she is on Obama for re-aligning his policies with those of the Cheney administration (you remember, the one with Bush as titular head) in the face of Republican and military brass pressure.  

    Right (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed May 20, 2009 at 10:34:57 AM EST
    but the point is she wasn't as down on Cheney when it was Cheney.

    I don't get this at all (none / 0) (#27)
    by CST on Wed May 20, 2009 at 11:00:50 AM EST
    Why should we expect other countries to take our baggage off our hands for us?  We took these people.  We imprisoned them.  They are our problem now.

    Absolutely... (none / 0) (#35)
    by BigElephant on Wed May 20, 2009 at 12:08:22 PM EST
    They are our problem and should be in our prisons on US soil.  I'll be honest, I'm a LOT less afraid of these folks than I am Aryan Nation skinheads.  I'm not saying their good people, but when you're not white/straight/christian in this country you already have your guard up.

    Reid under fire (none / 0) (#31)
    by KoolJeffrey on Wed May 20, 2009 at 11:22:29 AM EST
    Lord Henry is looking at some serious competition in 2010, and surely doesn't want to turn off justice-hating Republicans that dominate his state. Pathetic.

    I would expect the very powerful (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Wed May 20, 2009 at 11:47:21 AM EST
    correctional officers unions to cheer closing GITMO and relocating detainees to prisons on U.S. soil.

    They are in a bind (none / 0) (#48)
    by catmandu on Wed May 20, 2009 at 01:09:14 PM EST
    Roughly 80% of Americans don't want the detainees on American soil.  That means they need to be either returned to their countries, tried and returned to their countries,  tried and retained in Gitmo, or retained in Gitmo.  
    If they are sent to America, there will be a definate backlash in votes.

    Kinda doubt it (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Steve M on Wed May 20, 2009 at 01:18:38 PM EST
    Just because people answer an opinion poll on an issue doesn't mean it's important enough to actually change their vote.  Maybe there are people who will march across the street and join the Republican Party the instant an alleged terrorist gets transferred to a supermax prison in their state, but I find it very hard to believe there are many such people.  The Democrats are just being cowards.

    Not really (none / 0) (#56)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed May 20, 2009 at 01:33:17 PM EST
    Maybe some lame poll says 80% of the people they asked don't want them here, but I'm doubting 80% of the population cares.

    People here just really don't want prisons to grow. Americans who pay close enough attention to the gov't to even know what they are being asked about, or who they voted for, are in the minority.

    I'll bet they think Gitmo is being paid for by the Cubans, and if they come here they will be costing us millions more a year. At least here those torture techniques can be monitored.


    Better question... (none / 0) (#60)
    by BigElephant on Wed May 20, 2009 at 01:54:08 PM EST
    why don't we just ship all criminals to Gitmo and just keep them there?  Violating due process and other civil rights always seems costly.  I'd hope we do what is right, rather than what is expedient.

    You're right... (none / 0) (#71)
    by BigElephant on Wed May 20, 2009 at 03:24:37 PM EST
    we always do the expedient thing, which is why we're fighting two wars, economy down the tubes, unemployment up, bailouts every direction you look, both parties totally screwed up, China and India showing they can product superior product at lower cost,and a mess of a social structure.

    All thanks to your expediency.


    Imagine (none / 0) (#67)
    by catmandu on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:37:25 PM EST
    How this will play out in the next election.
    Ads will fly showing detainees committing acts of violence outside, and inside the US.  All it will take is one to commit a violent act inside a prison or worse, in an American neighborhood to really inflame voters.  An ad comparing the price of detaining in Gitmo vs US jails and many Americans who are struggling to pay for essentials will be inflamed.
    It is true Americans do not care what happens to the detainees---as long as they stay out of the US.  People do care about keeping terrorists off of US soil.  And some, perhaps even most, of the detainees are terrorists.

    Wow (none / 0) (#77)
    by Steve M on Wed May 20, 2009 at 03:46:09 PM EST
    That would be a devastating campaign ad indeed.  Some Gitmo detainee stabs a criminal in a prison fight!  I can just see the electorate turning angrily against the politician who allowed that to happen.

    My plan to "close Guantanamo" (none / 0) (#75)
    by Ben Masel on Wed May 20, 2009 at 03:42:55 PM EST
    Return the real estate to Cuba.

    Evacuatre US personnel.

    The detainees become a problem for the Cuban judicial system, subject to Cuban due process.

    Looks like we have a wrench in the system now... (none / 0) (#92)
    by of1000Kings on Thu May 21, 2009 at 03:43:27 AM EST
    4 'terrorists' who are Americans (at least 3 were citizens, all from Orange County NY) were arrested because of suspicions they were planning some Islamic terrorist acts in NY (allegedly these 4 converted to Islam)...

    so, here we have at least 3 US citizens, who are Islamic terrorists...

    do these US citizens get sent to Cuba, considering that Americans don't want terrorists in their backyards?

    very interesting to see how this goes...very interesting...
    after all, Americans don't want terrorists to be in prison in America (but in this case we are talking about American citizens)...

    Oh yeah, these four terrorists will be in court today (what, court for enemy combatants?  seems weird to me...why not just send them away and forget about them?)

    Guess only true olive-skinned terrorists don't have due process...