The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


National Security

Republicans Decry Guantanamo Detainee Transfer to US

By Perry Bacon Jr.
Congressional Republicans today sharply attacked the Obama administration's decision to bring a detainee from Guantanomo Bay to the United States.

"The administration has made the decision to begin transferring these terrorists to the United States, in spite of the overwhelming opposition of the American people and serious questions from members of Congress of both parties," said House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Noting a bill that passed 90-6 last month that banned the transfer or incarceration of detainees from Guantanomo to U.S. prisons, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the president was ignoring the "clear desire of Congress and the American people that these terrorists not be brought to the United States." McConnell also questioned if Obama had this authority under current law, saying "there's an argument that existing law prohibits bringing terrorists into the United States." He declined to say if Congress would consider further action to stop the administration from bringing other detainees here for trial.

But Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) strongly defended Obama's decision, noting the U.S. already houses many accused terrorists in prisons around the country.

"No one has every escaped" from the so-called Supermax prison in Colorado, Durbin said.

Posted at 12:08 PM ET on Jun 9, 2009  | Category:  National Security
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It's not "fear mongering" if any of these prisoners would, in fact, kill Americans given the chance:

P.S. to boscobobb, walker1, and edanddot: you really would have no concern about releasing every one of them into your own neighborhood?

P.P.S. to fudador: you are comparing apples to oranges (even assuming all 5 anti-abortionists are registered Republicans and if you think abortionists are "innocent"). If you want to compare how many total abortionists have been killed, you have to determine how many total innocent people have been killed by ALL terrorists.

Posted by: JakeD | June 10, 2009 12:40 PM

The GOP are the masters of fear mongering. They can't do anything positive so they whine. I guess they forgot that it was Bush and Cheney who created the Gitmo debacle. Their fear mongering got us into Iraq. They have very short memories. Voters don't.

Posted by: edanddot | June 10, 2009 11:25 AM

I have no doubt that no one will escape from a supermax prison as Senator Durbin states. But we will have to spend money to upgrade the prisons that the detainees are going to.

Maenwhile we have a prison at Guantanamo that is already doing the job that we are going to close because supposedly it will improve our image in the world. That is dubious at best.

The President could execute a political masterstroke by just reversing himself on this. He would earn faint praise from Republicans, stronger praise from independents, and criticism for the extreme elements of the Democratic Party. It would make the President look more like a centrist.

Posted by: danielhancock | June 10, 2009 10:21 AM

Thanks for the offer, boscobob, but I'd rather not have them in California. I remember how easy it was for Harold and Kumar to escape from Guantanamo.

Posted by: JakeD | June 10, 2009 12:59 AM

wmboyd | June 9, 2009 9:00 PM,

So is that going to be Palin talking to Gingrich or the other way around?

Posted by: boscobobb | June 9, 2009 10:13 PM

Posted by: boscobobb | June 9, 2009 6:17 PM

Well, that shut up JakieD.

Posted by: edlharris | June 9, 2009 10:10 PM


I see that Palau has been offered $200 million to take 17 Uighurs currently in Guantanamo, about $12 million apiece.

The 13th congressional district will take all 17 Uighurs in exchange for that $200 million. That's about half the cost of cleaning the 1,560 acres of contaminated land at the old Alameda NAS.

Heck, for that price, we'll take 34 Uighurs and finally, after 12 years of waiting, get some usable land back for public use in the middle of SF Bay.

Toss in a dozen Afghan farmers for $12 million each and we can replace the Oak Knoll Naval Hospital ln Oakland with a new VA hospital.

You've probably seen Alameda NAS on Mythbusters, where they use it to tape their favorite non-exploding driving myths.

Posted by: boscobobb | June 9, 2009 10:09 PM

The US is solely responsible for Guantanamo detainees because the US created them, should not ask other countries to take some of the

Posted by: eddy2set | June 9, 2009 9:46 PM

Well, according to Gallup, very few people care what Republicans think and that number grows ever smaller every year (2000-2009) eventually, it'll be 1 Republican telling the 2nd what they think and neither will care. At the rate they're going, that could be 2012.

Posted by: wmboyd | June 9, 2009 9:00 PM

Boehner is old news. Republican anti-abortionists have killed more people than this so-called terrorist.

Posted by: fudador | June 9, 2009 8:58 PM

Hundreds of Terrorists walking around the US? Don't worry, the gov't says it will be able to protect the abortion clinics.

Posted by: pca6661 | June 9, 2009 8:04 PM

That is the thing with the GOP they are all chicken.

That is why the leaders of the America hating Lymbaugh sycophants are Vietnam war dodgers like Chicken Dick.

Posted by: walker1 | June 9, 2009 8:00 PM

I'm in California's 13th congressional district. Pete Stark is my congressman. The Oakland Coliseum is in this district.

Pete's district has the nation's largest population of Afghans, a large population of Pakistanis, too, so we have plenty of Pashtun, Urdu and Arabic speakers.

We have so many Oakland drug dealers, urban street gangs, meth gangs, black tar heroin gangs, Mexican mafia gangs, prison gangs, motorcycle gangs, organized criminals, and Raiders fans in prison or jail in our district that 200-400 Guantanamo refugees can sleep on the jail floor like the rest of the riff-raff.

As an alternative, we have the empty former Alameda Naval Air Station where nukes were stored in high security bunkers. We have enough asbestos in the now vacant buildings and hangars plus toxic benzene and radium in the soil to shorten thousands of lives. I'm sure we could whip up something like the Guantanamo facility in less than 30 days.

Yeah, we're brave liberals here. Bring 'em on. These prisoners can't be any worse than drunk Raiders fans after a home loss to Denver.

Posted by: boscobobb | June 9, 2009 6:17 PM

JakeD wrote:
"My main concern is that the ACLU et al will actually get terrorists released and, since no other country wants them back and they are now "innocent", they get to stay right here in the U.S. of A."

So jake, who's fault is that? Who created the damage?
It's not the ACLU's fault. It's what happens when we allow extrajudicial actions, rendition, paying bounty hunters for a warm body and not properly interrogating people in the field.

I say send them to Dick Cheney's house.

Posted by: boscobobb | June 9, 2009 5:56 PM


Please post your State and Congressional District #.

Posted by: JakeD | June 9, 2009 5:40 PM

Are we no longer land of the free and home of brave? Are Republicans now ready to destroy our National Anthem?

If we can't bring prisoners, POWs, criminals to our shores for trial, what do we fear?

Send to my district.

Posted by: boscobobb | June 9, 2009 5:17 PM


Since 1787, here in the United States, the PEOPLE have a REPUBLICAN form of government (most notably the House of Representatives). Next question?

Posted by: JakeD | June 9, 2009 2:41 PM

The facts in this article are out of line. Since when does the opinion of Congress represent the feelings of the people of the United States? That is a contradiction of the highest order.

Posted by: racam | June 9, 2009 2:28 PM


The ACLU is not trying to get any other terrorists released -- they are trying to get the GTMO terrorists released -- see the difference now?

Posted by: JakeD | June 9, 2009 2:24 PM


I'm afraid of what they can do. I'm not going to avoid living a normal life because I refuse to live in fear. I fly on 9/11 as much as I can schedule it. But I am afraid of these cowards hurting the innocents again.

When you say "grow a spine", just exactly what do you propose that we do?

Posted by: tjmlrc | June 9, 2009 2:14 PM

And before you know it we will have another 9-11.

After all they have the blessing of obama, who says we have been hateful people. So when the inevitable happens it will be obama's fault.

Posted by: tjmlrc | June 9, 2009 2:02 PM

When did the Republican party change its color from red to yellow?

Posted by: nodebris | June 9, 2009 1:57 PM

This guy is the fifth person to be tried for the dual U.S. embassy bombings that occurred in Africa the 1990s and caused great loss of life. The other four were convicted and are in federal prison on American soil right now, as you read this. Are you terrified of them also?

Cowardice should not be wrapped in the flag and labeled patriotism. For a great nation like the United States to be frightened of this man and the handful of others remaining at Guantanamo is absurd. Following reasoning like that, I guess we shouldn't prosecute members of the Mafia either, since their associates might retaliate, or members of street gangs. Come on. Grow up people and grow a spine.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | June 9, 2009 1:47 PM

No one has "every" escaped? That's not really the concern (although, there's always a first time). My main concern is that the ACLU et al will actually get terrorists released and, since no other country wants them back and they are now "innocent", they get to stay right here in the U.S. of A.

Posted by: JakeD | June 9, 2009 1:09 PM

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