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May 20th, 2009
10:27 AM ET

Senator wants to keep Gitmo detainees out of U.S.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Senator Inhofe says the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is a great resource."]

President Obama's own party is undercutting his plans to try to close the detainee camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Senate Democrats say they're pulling the $80 million from the war spending bill he requested to close Gitmo. They say they need to know more about what the president plans to do with the detainees first.

Republican Senator James Inhofe says he will do everything possible to make sure that Gitmo detainees do not end up here on U.S. soil. He spoke to Kiran Chetry on CNN’s “American Morning” Wednesday.

Kiran Chetry: Why are you so strongly opposed to allowing detainees from Guantanamo in to the U.S. either for detention or trial?

James Inhofe: The problem is – and they had suggested at one time, this came out of the White House, that they had some 17 places in the United States where they would put these detainees. The problem with that is they becomes magnets to terrorism... In fact, 27 of our states have passed resolutions to their state legislatures not to allow them to come in to their particular states. So there's a good reason for that.

The other problem that I have is that if somehow they come in to our country and we can't use tribunals because we don't have facilities for that, they go into the court system, they could very well be turned loose because the rules of evidence are different with tribunals… with detainees than they are with criminals. So that's a serious problem. I go one step further though, Kiran. I don't want to close Gitmo. It’s a great resource. Every team that's gone there including Eric Holder has come back with glowing reports – how well people are treated, one doctor for every two detainees. There’s no place where they can be treated as well as Gitmo. It’s a great resource.

Chetry: Isn't it turning into a problem for us in terms of how we're viewed by the world holding detainees without trials in Cuba?

Inhofe: Well, there are some other choices. And those people who are critical of that should realize the only other choices are they can either turn them loose, because their countries won't take them back – these people will be back as terrorists trying to kill people in Afghanistan and that type of thing – or they can shoot ‘em. You know, the most humane thing to do is to keep that facility open where we can conduct those tribunals. We have a special courthouse there that complies with the rules of evidence that we're actually prepared to do… There’s just not an alternative.

Chetry: We have the super-maximum security prisons here in the U.S. if indeed this goes forward. We also have detention facilities on military bases that are operated by highly trained military personnel. You don’t think that those facilities could keep some of these detainees secure and at the same time protecting the surrounding communities?

Inhofe: No I don't, Kiran. I’ll tell you why. I went down to one of the facilities they talked about, Fort Sill in my state of Oklahoma. I went down there. And Sgt. Major Carter was in charge of the facility. She had had two tours of Gitmo. And she said, Senator, what is wrong with these people? We can't handle them down here. We're not set up to handle terrorist detainees. We don't have the facilities for it. Nowhere does. Now here’s an expert who says the only place she knows of anywhere in the world would be Gitmo. And again, there's just no logical reason to close it.

Chetry: Here in the United States there have been a number of people who have been convicted on terrorism-related charges in U.S. courts. They've gone through the U.S. courts, held in the U.S. prisons. Why can't that be replicated with the Guantanamo Bay detainees?

Inhofe: Because those individuals were actually criminals. They actually committed crimes and were not involved in the type of terrorist activity as we've been experiencing in Iraq and Afghanistan. And when they - once they come in, you have to do something with them. I think it would be a very bad precedent for us to even start or even consider trying these people under our laws when the rules of evidence are different and there's no place in the United States that we could do it.

And this just isn't my opinion, this is the opinion of everyone who's gone over there to look at it. I would say also the media that goes over that's critical of Guantanamo all come back shaking their heads saying, what's wrong with that place? By the way, I have to say this Kiran, it’s one of the few good deals we have. We only pay $4,000 a year. You don't find a deal like that. We've been doing that since 1903. It’s served us well.

Filed under: Guantanamo
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Robert in NY

    I have no respect for this man.

    There is a rather large ranch in Crawford, Texas, that could accommodate these terrorists. There is a lot of wilderness in Wyoming too.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  2. Janet Glazier

    Bring those Gitmo prisoners to Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois.We have a New state-of-the-art Prison here that has been sitting empty since it was built 8 years ago because of Republican. Gov. Ryan and his corrupt politics.

    May 21, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  3. Janet Glazier

    What's the big deal bringing the Gitmo prisoners to the U.S. They're already here and The U.S. is already on top of it.We have Manson,the Uni-bomber ...locked up and they aren't a threat to us anymore.Cheney is just talking out his rear end.

    May 21, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  4. MaDeacon

    The US has one of the largest prison systems in the world with varying levels of security for civilian and military combined. Now the chosen leaders 'fear' the security of our system if these detainees are released into them? But ok with keeping them on someone else's country? They should be ashamed on themselves for fielding the argument to start.
    Not only are they secure, yielding less escapees than any other country per population, it is also a situation of our doing. Our war, our detainees, our prisons, no problem. What is to fear? Their ideas being passed onto other prisoners? If so isolation is not a problem.
    As with everything, Americans really need to hold their representatives accountable for their voting record and removed at first opportunity.

    May 21, 2009 at 7:39 am |
  5. michael armstrong sr.

    thats all good keeping the gitmo thugs out of our country but the real treat is what are we going to do about the leagle ones already here.

    May 21, 2009 at 6:34 am |
  6. MRC

    The simple fact is that we are using Gitmo as a sort of penal colony, a concept that is considered generally uncivilized in the modern world. Whether or not they are being treated well there or not is beside the point. They were put there for the explicit reason that it gives the government more flexibility in terms of what it did with them (you can debate the legalities but, practically speaking, that is why it was done).

    There are American citizens in prison who are every bit, if not more, dangerous as any of these prisoners and those citizens are housed in this country. There are also many foreign nationals housed in the U.S. as prisoners. The difference is that it is easier for the foreign nationals within the country to assert their rights than those at Gitmo which is exactly what the government intended.

    The Gitmo situation has always been about getting away with things and never about keeping the country secure. The fact that it makes the U.S. look disingenuous to the rest of the world makes us less secure because nobody trusts us. And this is besides the question that, if these prisoners were truly that dangerous, how ethical is it for us to force the Cubans to live with them at their doorstep?

    May 20, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  7. wyoming

    to Darby,
    Please give us the terrorist, we'll take care of them in a hurry. And it won't cost 80 million dollars.

    May 20, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  8. LC

    I served 6 years in the U.S Army and 33 years in government service and now suffer from Lou Gehrigs disease. I would not want myself or fellow veterans to be treated as we treat other prisoners We are setting a benchmark for the way we can expect our GI's to be treated should they become POW's Remember, #We signed and are now in violation of the Geneva Convention we agreed to. Someone committed war crimes by approving torture.

    May 20, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  9. Chris Kirkpatrick

    The ONLY place to keep GITMO detainees is in Cuba? What? You're telling me that we can house serial killers here in the states, but we can't house terrorists? What more do they need? What hurts America's image currently is our indecision over this issue...once we transfer them to American prisons and treat them like any other convict, all other complaints will be moot. While we fail to follow through and make good on our ideas, we will look divided, which we are!

    May 20, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  10. Tel

    So why can't we try these people in court or by military tribunal? If they're found guilty, they'd get life in prison no parole at best, death penalty at worst. It couldn't be the fact that the evidence against them is either worthless, or tainted by tortured confessions, could it? If we had any hard evidence – any at all – don't you think we would have brought it forward by now, and actually tried them in court? We ought to be able to put together some kind of a case, in six years of captivity. Since we haven't, we obviously don't have any evidence against them .

    This is one of the many reasons we should never have gone down that road: guilt and innocence gets hopelessly muddled. Even if 100% of the detainees were members of al Qaeda in some capacity, there is no way for us to prove it now. All of the evidence is compromised.

    For real justice to be served, they ought to be released next door to Yoo, Bybee, Cheney, Bush, and anybody else who knew about the torture policy. We're in this mess thanks to them.

    May 20, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  11. Pat

    It scares me to death to think that our president would jepordize the safety of America by bringing terrorist into our country. As we saw on 9/11 they will stop at nothing. Furthermore even though we are paying for their dentention at Gitmo I don't want them in our prisons in the U.S. so they can brainwash prisoners here and cause more problems. I don't like the fact that our money is being used to take care of them in the first place.

    May 20, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  12. Jason

    So a lot of people are adamantly against bringing the prisoners here to the US because they're afraid they'll escape?? Honestly? Most prisons with any kind of electric fence system have 0% escape rate.... and furthermore these people could technically escape from their holding cells in Cuba. Are we so much better than cubans now that we don't care if murderers that we captured escape on their soil? Look up the history of Gitmo bay. We basically seized that land early in the 1900s and show a "what are you gonna do about it?" attitude towards Cuban leadership who criticize our occupation of the land... sure we pay a paltry sum for a lease (checks which cuba refuses to cash for years since they consider us occupiers.) So we illegally occupied one country, captured prisoners and are holding them in another country which we're occupying (which is amoral if not illegal) then we wonder why people across the world think it is disgusting and underhanded. I don't even mind water boarding and EITs if it's done on a murderer to get real information, but to do that, we have to act like the good guys. Good guys don't steal other countries' land, then thumb their nose at the country's leadership who criticize us for stealing their land. If you didn't even bother to check out the underhanded method with which we got that land, please get off this forum and do some reading.

    May 20, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  13. kameron v

    Trevor is correct. Educate yourselves and stop allowing politicians to stoke fear in you – Sen. Inhofe is part of the "good old boys" republican club; we can see what that did to our country over the last eight years.

    May 20, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  14. Billy Bob

    Could not agree more with James Inhofe or anyone else who say that the Guantanomo detainees should stay out of the US or any Amrican Territory. We have enough hatred within with the likes of Linbaugh, Grinrich, Bush, L Dobbs and others whose paycheck depends upon their spewing hate and speading American discontent, without increasng it with persons who have vowed to kill Americans, destroy our way of living and spread their evil doctrine

    May 20, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  15. lloyd roberts, jamaica ny

    America has due process, that is what we try to teach the world. We charge you, read the charges against you, have a trial and come up with a verdict. We even did that during the Nuremberg Trials for accused war criminals that executed millions in cold blood. Even those people got trials, were convicted and ultimately executed. Did you hear Senator Inhoff's stupid answer to that wonderful question, "havent we already convicted people on terrorism charges in US courts". Brilliant answer, because they were criminals. Then what are the people languishing in Cuba, non criminals.

    May 20, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Everyone fear the magnets of terrorism! Do as your told and stop complaining about your self-reflexive opinions. I've had enough of this 'fear terrorism' crap. Does anyone remember cooperation? Play the fiddle, not the drum America.

    May 20, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  17. Doug Jennings

    The US owns several VERY isolated islands in the middle of the Pacific - Wake Island and Midway. Why not put these terrorists out there where they could be held indefinitely and never threaten any civilian populations?

    May 20, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  18. darby

    Seems like the wonderful states of Texas and Wyoming ought to take these prisoners. After all, it was their native sons Bush and Cheney who created this damn mess in the first place. Let their states deal with them all.

    May 20, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  19. JD

    B.O. has not learned the political art of "look before you leap". Sorry to say, he is going to once again let down his left-wing supporters by keeping some sort of detention camp for terrorists....oh, by the way, have you left wingers still noticed that we still have troops in Iraq...another let down by YOUR savior, B.O.

    May 20, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  20. Michael

    It was the media that demonized Gitmo. Then Obama ranted about Gitmo for elcetion purpose and then every Liberal in the country. We all have heard sighs of some women over the radio about the torture of the terrorists. How did we get brainwashed?
    Again, the security of Americans is our problem & not that of the whole world. If any country is so sympathetic towards the terrorists, let it have a prison in its country exclusively for Gitmo prisoners. American's safety is our concern.

    May 20, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  21. Erik

    These are the dumbest arguments I've ever hear. No wonder the guy is in congress, he's not fit for any other job. The terrorists are criminals. They deserve to be in prison for life. And I can't think of a more fitting outcome than some terrorist having to deal with a 300 pound inmate that just thinks that bearded guy looks great and ought to be one of his dates. Why the hell should they get great treatment at Gitmo?

    May 20, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  22. T

    Fine! close the base let the detainees (which have better lives at the camp than they ever had) go. Let them go to Afghanistan or what not. You know what the Liberals will get their way., when it comes back and bites them they'll realize the errors of their ways. For those bleeding hearts out there that think these people are mistreated ?? think again they get FREE medical, FREE food, FREE Housing, FREE Entertainment/Excercise. Free for them not for the taxpayers footing the bill. These Detainees are treated excellently for criminals, they would be dead or living in hovels back home. The detainees themselves aren't necessarily happy that the camp is being shuttered.
    Let em go...
    And I agree with the poster(s) above that are stating the obvious fact that the Democrats are the ones changing the game. The Republicans are merely being setup as the fall guys again...

    May 20, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  23. Tim L

    also lets not forget some that where supposedly innocent. That was free'd from gitmo, headed a planned terrorist attack shortly after returning to his homeland.

    May 20, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  24. rocky63

    Mr. Hohlman,

    So, if someone disagrees with you about global warming he's an idiot on ALL subjects? INteresting logic on your part.

    By the way, sir - you have fallen victim to one of the all-time great scams - the allegation that humans are causing global warming is garbage. Water vapor (which is plentiful in the air) is many times more effective than CO2 in acting as a "greenhouse gas". The science is bogus. But, then, do you know any science?

    May 20, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  25. cg

    While child molesters are targets, I imagine placing terrorists into a prison population may inspire some criminals to become patriots of sorts in their own minds.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  26. john

    sent Inhofe to Getmo for ever, since he feels that it is a very nice place...

    May 20, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  27. waylon

    Terrorist or not they are humans and us as americans have always held a standard to human rights. Its my opinion that all these states saying they dont want them, or they cant handle them, where is your american loyalty. The first governer to stand up and say "I will take responsibility for holding and trying these terrorist in my state" is the governer I would vote for. That governer is showing his dedication to American liberty and justice.

    These terrorist have been taught since child hood that america is bad, the first golf war probably frightened a lot of Middle Eastern kids who now have grown up to hate us because of those memories. They know no better and the more we take away their human rights the more fuel we put on the fire.

    Here is an Idea: Treat Terrorist with the same respect as any other criminal and they will start to realize what they have been taught there whole life about this country was a lie.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  28. alan

    the old bait and switch....democrats make an unpopular vote, so we interview a republican about it.. name drop Bush, and we can all go back to ignoring what our own party is doing!!

    May 20, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  29. John Anthony

    I say put the detainees in Cook County Jail in Chicago, IL. You want to mess with America, you want to kill Americans, okay, enjoy your stay at Cook County Jail in Chicago. I'm sure all the gang bangers and drug addicts would love to meet you. And then hopefully we can waterboard them too, really torture them so they feel it.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  30. f

    Why didn't they interview Harry Reid about why he wants to keep Gitmo Open???

    Who controls congress?...democrats. who controls the senate?..democrats

    May 20, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  31. Roger

    They would last 5 minutes in the General Population.

    As a result they will be held in Solitary Confinerment, where they only have themselves to speak with.

    All men are created equal or have we given up that "quaint" notion?

    What is the problem?

    May 20, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  32. blake

    The problem with this is that most of the people left there are not guilty of any crime.

    The downside of the $30k reward for terrorist, is that in such poor villages, many people handed over anyone that wasnt a friend or family member because they wanted or needed the money.

    Some estimates have as many as 80% of the detainees as "wrong place, wrong time" victims that have no evidence other than a farmer turning them in for money.

    That is the true tragedy here; a large majority of these people have been imprisoned and tortured and are completely innocent. Or were...i'm sure they dont have too good of an impression of us now.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  33. MT


    Then again give us from the red states the answer!

    I really enjoy all the Liberal hand ringing cry babies. LC ever had a family member serve in the military? Tough decisions are made every day, lives are lost, freedoms are defended, freedoms are taken.

    Rather than whine about what HAS been done to these "wrongly accused, innocent victims" bestow on the rest of us what you think the definative solution is...... remember its your party Dems call the tune

    May 20, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  34. Luan Issufi

    Those incompetent and arrogant Bush's morons should not take those detainees in the first place.
    Now all of them should be send to live with this idiot George and the lying moron Dick -make a reality show of it.
    GOP should be forced to take those detainees to their districs.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  35. observer

    Does anyone commenting understand that the Democrats control both houses of congress, and are hence the ones that stoped the closing of Gitmo??

    Inhofe is a red herring to keep the pions fighting amongst themsleves. The real story is that democrats in congress are fighting against their own president to kepp it open. HELLO??

    May 20, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  36. steve

    Denying basic human rights makes us just the same sort of monsters that we are supposedly stopping. I wish Gitmo never had existed. The facility represents everything we as Americans are against, torture, endless imprisonment without a proper trial and hate.

    If we continue with torture and abusing people 'suspected' of terrorism, it is only a matter of time before US officials will be held accountable for crimes against humanity. It is best to shut it down and actually follow the rules we once agreed to.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  37. Trevor

    People, get a clue. During World War II, we held very dangerous Nazi POWs in Arkansas, Texas, and Arizona among other places and conducted military tribunals complete with death sentences. Also, a Nazi sailor, part of a submarine crew, was convicted of murder in a state court and died in Florida's electric chair.
    Thus, these detainees can be imprisoned, tried, and appropriately punished here. Crack open your history books!

    May 20, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  38. Mel Kirby

    If Obama is so dead set on closing it; let them stay at the White House! He appears to want to be "buds" with countries that we cannot or should not trust!

    May 20, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  39. J

    It is DEMOCRATS who control the senate and blocked this bill, but CNN interviews a republican to defend the position, so all the simple minded can blame the republicans for it. Text book propoganda.

    If the democrats wanted Gitmo closed..IT WOULD BE CLOSED. But now everyone can ignore that inconvient fact, and go back to grumbling about bush,cheney, republicans.. whatever keeps them busy while thier own party breaks every promise they got elected on.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  40. MT

    OK Joseph Hohlman, how about you keep these poor innocent, wrongly accused, misunderstood detainees at your house.

    Yeah that what I thought, Liberal Dems are all for rights of the accused until it impacts them in their "district".

    Another solution – send the detainees to Montana, it will be handled in short order and all the bleeding heart nations that are never willing to take any action (but stand on the sidelines and complain) can complain to us.

    I agree that this turned out badly and was not planned out well. I haven't heard any solutions from the Dems only compaints after the fact.

    Dems please bestow on us from the red states, exactly what you would have done with them..... besides apologize for taking them away from the holy war.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  41. LL

    There are less than 500 people in prison, that have not been
    tried or convicted, Why can't we just let them out and Cuba can keep them, deport them or incarcirate them?

    May 20, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  42. David

    The problem in almost all these discussion is that people assume that the detainees are guilty of something. There have been a lot of detainees that have already been released without any charges. That is why a trial is so important. That is why they should never have been allowed to open Guantanmo in the first place. We are playing games with semantics to get around our own laws, that is the first step in tyranny.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  43. Allen (no pity)

    We are losing site of the problem. A lot of these people were rounded up on the battle field etc by comant personal not FBI agents trained in evidence collection and perservation the same as the Nazis captured in World War II. Because of this should we let them go and kill more of us.
    As to this inhuman criticism I have this to say. While watching T.V. last night I saw once again the person jumping from an upper floor of the World Trade Towers to avoid a firey death. I couldn't help but think would he gladly trade that situation for some water boarding and a stay at Gotmo. I think they all would have and I would do it for them right now if it would bring them back.
    These terrorist don't wear uniforms and identify themselves they try to blend in and attack you when you least expect it. They ceremoniously chop off people's heads with no remorse.
    I don't like where we are but we are here now thanks to Sept. 11, 2001. Let's not lose site of the real problem because he who forgets historty is doomed to repeat it.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  44. Brandon Zack

    I do not see why this issue of resettlement in the United States is so complex...There is a very easy solution to this problem and that is rehabilitation. Resettle the inmates in the United States, provide them private housing and some form of work and they will quickly realize that they have a higher standard of living here then they ever would have had in Iraq or Afghanistan or wherever. Treat them like Americans and they will act like Americans. For the argument that "they would be a security breach," register them in a database similar to what we do with sex offenders. If we can rehouse and rehabilitate convicted child molesters and rapists, judicially proven safety threats, in surburban neighborhoods, we can do the same for Gitmo inmates. Anything is better than languishing in a gulag purgatory for an indefinite period of time...

    May 20, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  45. Jerry

    Let Oprah counsel them and turn 'em loose in DC.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  46. Bob

    Good Grief, this is a no-brainer out of the U.S. they go. Some are in fact terrorist like the guy the army lawyers say is innocent Well the facts are this guy did go to a terrorist camp, did receive training BUT the ldiot lawyers say he did not commit a terrorist act..........GOD sent this guy out of the U.S. and send the lawyers with him.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  47. Alex

    This is a no brainer. There is NO logical reason to bring any Gitmo detainee into our country PERIOD! There is no such thing as a safe maximum security prison in the US where inmates cannot have exposure too or influence to others within the our country. Robert Mueller is absolutely right that there would be unnecessary danger to our homeland by bringing any of those idiots into the US. If you must, either let them go back to the hole they came from or shoot them! But under no circumstances bring any of those combatants into our country. Most of those folks live for one reason and one reason only. They look to the day that they can kill as many Americans as they can. Why aid them in their efforts to join their comrades who pulled off 9/11.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  48. Alex

    "We’re not set up to handle terrorist detainees."? What happened to the presumption of innocence? These are either terror suspects or convicted terrorists, there's no such thing as terrorist detainees. As long as we hold them indefinitely without trial, we are jailing innocent people.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  49. LC

    Is Inhofe really that ignorant and narrow minded? This is what is wrong with political extremism when people cannot operate or think without politics in mind. Inhofe is a poster child for political dysfunction.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  50. Tim L

    I am a veteran. I served from 1986 to 1990. We are always up in arms about these detainees rights. I dont commend what went on in the past at gitmo. No one should be subjected to that type of treatment. But come on people as I see it they are not us citizens that dont have constitutional rights, We are talking about most of these people being cold blooded killers. What about the people they violate who stands up for them. We didnt ask them to please come to new york and fly planes into the world trade buildings. If you look at past wars look at what happened to american servicemen that was captured by japan and germany. These terrorist should go to trial for what they have done. Doesnt it bother anyone that their own countries dont want them back. That says it all for me right there. Also fellow americans lets not forget what has happened to some of our sericemen over there either. They have shot, burned, beheaded and hung our guys up for display. Sorry if we have belittled a few of there people in our facilities.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  51. Jon (from Ottawa, ON)

    If Gitmo is such a great place, perhaps Sen. Inhofe would like to spend a few weeks there. . .

    May 20, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  52. Jon (from Ottawa, ON)

    This is wacko. The rathole that is Gitmo needs to be locked up for good, if not burnt over and sprinkled with salt. Each day that the place stays open, the U.S. gets a bigger black eye internationally. The place is beyond an embarrassment; it is a national disgrace.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  53. Michael K

    Oh for crying out loud! You do know these do NOT have super powers or anything, right? Have you seen the chicken wire and corrugated tin facility at gitmo? Do you really expect anyone to believe these guys can't be kept securely, if kept is what the legal process requires? Have you seen how supermaxes dealt with McVeigh and Kaczynski?

    This noise is coming from republicans who just reflexively oppose any initiative coming from this administration regardless of its value. These guys have no love of country, only love of party and complicit, timids democrats are no damn better!

    Vote out the rabid animals and the paralyzed timids and live up to our Constitution!

    May 20, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  54. Lu

    I do not believe in holding people without trials, and if we held real trials for these people we would not have enough evidence to prove they are guilty of anything. If the Bush/Cheney administration had any evidence that there was a high-profile terrorist at Gitmo they would have paraded him in front of the news - but the biggest one they had is the guy who drove a car for a terrorist leader.

    Would we want our soldiers to be held under the same circumstances? I say we've held small-time soldiers for too many years already without trials, tribunals, or evidence, and we should process them as quickly as possible according to our normal rules of justice. If we have to let them go, we should let them go.

    If they go back to being terrorists, they will still do less harm than keeing Gitmo and continuing to destroy America's reputation in the eyes of the worls. Gitmo only creates more hate for us and more terrorists who want to attack us.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  55. cece

    How many billions of dollars more will it cost our children and grandchildren to re-locate the "dentainees" to America?

    Don't we have enough unpaid bills already? Keep em in Cuba, it's makes financial sense!

    (most likely, obama will send them to the Navy brig in Charleston, SC, to "punish" SC for voting for McCain!)

    May 20, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  56. Raphael Kaufman

    The main reason that these individuals don't belong in the criminal justice system is that they are not criminals. In the case of captured Taliban fighters, the Geneva Convention of 1949 as Ammended offers them the status of Prisoners of War as as such, they must be treated humanely as described in the Convention and can be held until sessation of hostilities, I.E. indefinitly. POW's accused of war crimes may be tried by military tribunal of the Holding Power (us). Foreign Al Qaida fighters fall under the Convention's classification of Spys and Mercenaries. Under the Convention, have no protection and are subject to summary execution. Holding them (Al Qaida) in Gitmo is actually an act of mercy. It seems that many people are fond of refering to the "Geneva Convention" without actually reading it.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  57. GolfKrazy

    Our image around the world as "ugly, arrogant and ignorant" Americans will never change regardless of whether we close gitmo or not. Obama can diss his own country and apologize infinitum every time he goes abroad in attempt to ingratiate himself to the world but the fact is that everyone who does not live in this country "hates us" because they are jealous of our freedoms and way of life. For the past 20 years, I have travelled extensively in Europe and South America and I've come to that sad conclusion! Even the Brits have such disdain for us. I LOVE this country, it is the greatest in the world and I am priviledge to live here, would rather be dead if it could not be so! I say keep these detainees in gitmo and try them there but the bigger concern is where should those found innocent be sent? Their own countries do not want them back and for all the talk european countries do , they are unwilling to accept them either (I think France volunteered to receive ONE) . Those of you who have never had to be concern with terrorism (except new yorkers who went thru the hell of 9/11 & Oklahomans) could NEVER begin to understand the danger these detainees really pose to our security! Try living in my native Colombia for a few months and see how much fun it is to be looking over your shoulder everytime you go out because you think the FARC is going to kidnap or blow you off !

    May 20, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  58. Michael

    What a complete joke. I love it how keeping them locked up at Gitmo just glosses over the fact that keeping them there forever with a made up set of tribunal Justice and evidence standards somehow makes the human rights violations just go away. Really, if you dont have the evidence to justify holding someone for the rest of thier natural lives in an open court, then making up the rules to make it "legal" doesnt get you around the blatant violation of the basic human rights.

    I for one have no problem living around someone set free becuase the government couldn't developed enough evidence to prosecute them in open court. After all, killers are freed every day for a lack of evidence. And since when does the American foundation of human rights stop at the boarder? Provided there are humans in question how can there be exceptions to the rule?

    Not to mention the incompetence of the quoted supermax director stating they dont have the facilities to lock someone down as well as at gitmo? I dont know if anyone here actually knows how US super max prisons work, but doing time in gitmo is a far better experience than in Florance Colorado. So what Tim McVeigh and the unabomber dont qualify as violent terrorists? Not to mention, so what if they too become a terrorist target, last time i checked, EVERYWHERE in the US was a terrorist target.

    Lets be honest, they dont want to close gitmo becuase you cant have rendition or torture with witness. Lets keep cutting education so we can further dilute critical thinking to the point where all this makes sence.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  59. DAVID

    joe h – get a clue. not a single gitmo detainee will be allowed into the U.S. PERIOD. as for your cluelessness about global warming-PLEASE, PLEASE READ UP ON IT. don't just listen to that good for nothing, lear jet liberal Al-let me fly all over the world and tell you about carbon footprints-Gore.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  60. James Edwards

    I going to have to disagree with Inhofe on the need to keep detainees in Guantanamo because it is saying that we can't protect our country afterall we have spend billions to upgrade our security to make sure that it does not happen. What Inhofe said was selectively pick parts of one person to say that it can't be done in this country and we have facilities in this country to be able to hold them. I know that the US Marshals Service can do an excellent job making sure the prisoners remain in custody during the trial process and has my full confident in their ability to do so.
    Furthermore the GOP has not offer one solution to close the Guatanamo facilities except to play the politics of fear and national securtiy. Bush created this mess and it is left with the successor to clean up their mess along with everything else.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  61. Dave of the mountains

    I am not afraid that our laws don’t work and a Senator that doesn’t support our system of laws isn’t much of a Senator.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  62. Jim

    We sure as hell don't need them in the US! Obama's stupid for even considering it! If any get in then let them bunk with the ACLU!

    May 20, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  63. Josh

    Ironic is the first word that comes to mind. We elect a president, twice, who sets up these US owned camps, with congressional approval. We fill them with questionably legal "inmates," and look the other way on whether or not we even have to right to detain these individuals.

    Now that the chickens are coming home to roost, we want nothing to do with the mess we've created and approved. I'm thinking the detainees need to be housed in whatever prisons are closest to our former president's family, and the families of our congressmen. We made the mess, it's ours to deal with.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  64. mary

    So, according to Senator Inhofe, we just keep the suspects indefinitely and never try them in a court of law. Sounds like a great solution. It's really disturbing that someone as unintelligent as Inhofe can serve as a U.S. Senator.

    May 20, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  65. Kevin

    The logic of some of these politicians in keeping detainees off of U.S soil is laughable really.

    The United States has one of the highest incarceration rates of any country in the world. They have a great deal of experience with dealing with violent people. Terrorists and Insurgents are "not" supermen, they are human...and a supermax prison is capable of housing them just as easily as anyone else.

    Timothy McVeigh, The Unabomber, Charles Manson, Several of the 1993 WTC bombing members, USS Cole bombers...Serial killers...all of these people are or have been in US prisons already.

    The way that politicians are 'scaring' people is to make people think that just because some terrorist is in a local prison..that they are going to be their new neighbour or something is just silly...they will no more be a person's new neighbor then the millions of Americans already in prison are their neighbors.

    This is just more of Bush-era fear mongering and guess what...we aren't afraid anymore.....

    May 20, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  66. Dave of the mountains

    Bring them to Colorado. Our system isn't afraid of them. Tim McVeigh begged to be executed after a year in super max. Silence and no human contact 23 hours a day works better than torture. They just better hope they are innocent or they keep their legal trial quiet. I am not afraid that our laws don't work and a Senator that doesn't support our system of laws isn't much of a Senator.

    May 20, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  67. Babs

    I think that what people fail to recognize in this whole thing is that these people are terrorists. They are the morons that we now have in our prison/jail system. You need to understand how they think. Being in the prisons/jails will give them access to recruit. Also, the big one, is that if they touch American soil, they then have the same rights as you and I as American citizens, which they are not.

    May 20, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  68. Dimslie

    If it's a problem how the world views us in regard to Gitmo, it's a problem that has been nurtured by the Dims. Now their choices are to either bring them into the U.S., which they're unwilling to take the heat for (not to mention the stupidity of such a move, which doesn't bother Dims) or they'll have to spend a billion dollars to build another prison somewhere else outside the U.S. Only the Dims could think the latter choice makes sense so, I predict that's the one they will choose. I suggest Devil's Island. They'll probably choose something near Hawaii.

    May 20, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  69. July Dowling

    Kiran posed a question this a.m. to Senator Inhofe regarding the retention of detainees at Gitmo as contributing to our bad image with the rest of the world. I think this question misses the point...

    What difference does it make to our world "image" whether we keep the detainees at Gitmo or within the physical boundaries of the 48 contiguous states? The problem the "world" has isn't with where we are keeping these guys, it's the fact that we are keeping them at all! What benefit is there to moving them, especially at such great risk and expense – I mean, we're still HOLDING them – and isn't that what the world really has a problem with?

    Since the Obama administration is keeping the status quo at the moment, let's at least keep the detainees in a facility that is well equipped for their particular requirements (i.e., Gitmo) and keep costs to a minimum. (i.e. Gitmo)

    I'm with Senator Inhofe.

    May 20, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  70. Joseph Hohlman

    Kiran..I thank you..Glad to see 'Col. Lawrence Wilkerson' this morning ripping 'Bush/Cheney' and their 'gang' of republican sanctimonious idiots.."Senator James Inhofe" is one of that 'republican gang' also..Doesn't believe in global warming either.."Clueless" about everything really..Zero credibility !
    The United States of America will adhere to U.S. and International law under President Obama's Administration_period ! That will include "Gitmo detainees"..Thx's !

    May 20, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  71. Scott Stodden

    I do agree that they need to know what to do with these prisoners before we do give any money to close the prison. I would demand that these people be held on charges in US prisons or return them to there countries.

    May 20, 2009 at 11:04 am |