Oh, brother. From a “Letter to the Editor” in today’s Warrensburg Daily Star Journal:
6/9/2009 9:31:00 AM
Keep Guantanamo open
Letter to the Editor
… Bringing terrorists who hate our country to U.S. soil during a time of war is not wise and even the president’s own Democrats can see that.
Doing this makes Obama seem as if he is not tough enough in the eyes of our enemies. This is not what Obama and America need right now. He does not need to make the American people feel vulnerable and our enemies feel that we have a weak president running America right now…
Where do people get this stuff? Why would people in Missouri be so fearful that our domestic federal prisons are sieves?
Uh, let’s see what the republican dominated Missouri General Assembly had to say about this:
HCR 16 Strongly urges Congress to reject any asylum, containment, transport, imprisonment, or state medical care of any suspected terrorists released from United States operated foreign prisons
And Senator Kit Bond (r)?:
BOND: AMERICANS DON’T WANT TERRORISTS IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS
May 5, 2009
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Kit Bond, Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, today made the following remarks on the Senate floor where he urged President Obama to abandon plans to close Guantanamo Bay, emphasizing that Americans don’t want terrorists in their neighborhoods….
I haven’t noticed any maximum security prisons in my neighborhood. There is a private correctional facility the next town over. Hmmm, I sense an entrepreneurial opportunity somewhere in this. Maybe that’s what they’re all worried about. You think?
Claire McCaskill (sort of) gets it – May 27, 2009:
…Question: Senator, what would you like to see happen with Guantanamo Bay, in your opinion?
Senator McCaskill: Well, I think there does need to be a plan. I think first and foremost, everybody needs to take a deep breath and realize the President is not interested in doing anything that would jeopardize the safety of Americans. It is almost silly the way people have begun bandying about this notion that we’re gonna let terrorists loose all over America. And, you know, that’s not gonna happen. [crosstalk]
Question: Our prisons are secure.
Senator McCaskill: Our prisons are very secure. We have terrorists right now in America in our prisons. Dozens of ’em. And they are secure because we don’t let dangerous people escape from prisons in America. I’m hopeful still that the vast majority of those folks will be placed other places than America. And I think that there is a, a likelihood that may happen. So I think Guantanamo will close, it should close. It is going to take some time. And I think just because the President announced he was gonna close it, I think everyone understood that he set the right tone when he announced he was gonna close it right after he was inaugurated. But that doesn’t mean he’s not gonna do it carefully and with caution. And that’s what you’re seeing now…
I dunno, I wonder if we have any experience prosecuting terrorists, convicting them, and detaining them in our prisons in the United States? From a Department of Justice release on June 9, 2009 (via Steve Benen at Washington Monthly):
Department of Justice
Fact Sheet: Prosecuting and Detaining Terror Suspects in the U.S. Criminal Justice System
…Nationwide, the Justice Department and its U.S. Attorney’s offices have prosecuted many terrorism cases in recent months and years . Last year, Human Rights First published a comprehensive study on prosecuting terrorism in federal court from 9/11 through the end of 2007. The study, entitled: “In Pursuit of Justice: Prosecuting Terrorism Cases in the Federal Court,” found that federal prosecutors achieved a conviction rate of more than 90 percent in the set of terrorism cases examined by the report’s authors. The study examined a specific set of 257 defendants charged with terrorism related violations in the United States between 9/11 and the end of 2007. Of the 160 defendants from this group who had their cases resolved, 145 were convicted of at least one count, either by a verdict of guilty after trial or by a guilty plea…
…There are currently 216 inmates in Bureau of Prisons (BOP) custody who have a history of/or nexus to international terrorism. Sixty seven of these individuals were extradited to the United States for prosecution, while 149 were not extradited. Seventy two of these individuals are U.S. citizens (45 of them born in the United States, 27 of them naturalized). The “Supermax” facility in Florence, Colo. (ADX Florence), which is BOP’s most secure facility, houses 33 of these international terrorists. There has never been an escape from ADX Florence, and BOP has housed some of these international terrorists since the early 1990s. In addition to the ADX Florence, the BOP houses such individuals in the Communications Management Units at Terre Haute, Ind., and Marion, Ill., as well as in other facilities among different institutions around the country…
Uh, we’re already housing international terrorists in our prisons in the United States. It makes you wonder why this has become one of the republicans’ favorite political footballs. Sorry, I just answered my own question, didn’t I?