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Citing 'Tropical Breezes,' Sessions Defends Keeping Guantanamo Open

By Paul Kane
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) today defended the continued detention of al-Qaeda prisoners at the military facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, calling it a "logical" site that also provides inmates with "tropical breezes."

Sessions, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, supports the bipartisan effort to withhold funds sought by the Obama administration to close the controversial facility. The House is expected to approve tomorrow, by a wide margin, a $96 billion war funding bill for Iraq and Afghanistan that does not include the $80 million President Obama requested to close down the detention facility. The Senate Appropriations Committee is also considering a version of the legislation that does not automatically provide the prison-closing funds.

Sessions, who is also a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, said he has visited the site and found it to be completely acceptable as a facility for the 240 alleged terrorists there. Transferring the prisoners to a continental U.S. site would not result in any better conditions for the prisoners, and keeping them at such a remote location makes it almost impossible for anyone to break them out, Sessions said.

"They wouldn't be treated any better in the United States, and they wouldn't have the tropical breezes blowing through," Sessions said.

The International Red Cross has conducted interviews with roughly 2,000 prisoners who have come through the Guantanamo Bay site, issuing reports that have raised frequent questions about the medical conditions of the detainees and their access to lawyers.

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 13, 2009; 7:31 PM ET
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Britain used to keep political prisoners in hulks on the Thames. When it was found that some of the prisoners could swim they towed the hulks to Australia (Botany Bay). Anyone who jumped overboard there got eaten by sharks. The practice of keeping your undesirables in another country is about as enlightened as legalising slavery. Mind you, if the recession produces the civil war that some predict, might be handy to have Cuba nearby to ship all the insurrectionists to. You could get transported to Australia from Britain for just being accused of stealing a loaf of bread. The only thing that changes with time is the date.

Posted by: wattnot | May 13, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

The GOP must be having a contest in their party to see who would say the most stupid
and absurd things. Session is not far from the top of the list. I can't beleive this is the kind of people we have in the government running things. The GOP is a bunch of sore losers who can't get over the lost of power.

Posted by: pokeymompokey | May 13, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

it is jaw-dropping, dumbfounding, absolutely astounding how we, as american citizens, have had the audacity or apathy to let idiots like this rule the political roost...truly...what in the world has happened to us?

and regarding guantanamo, are we really so spineless as to invade another country, capture supposed criminals under false pretenses, toss them of to "no man's land" and not have the stones to bring them to our soil to be dealt with?...we have become a nation of cowards...imperious ones at that...i am sick to death of these silly little men playing leader, when they show themselves to be nothing more than privileged buffoons, more often than not lacking both honor and courage.

Posted by: jazzgrrrl25 | May 14, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse

What do you expect from a party that snearingly vilifies anyone who is educated and accomplished in their field as elites. Ignorance is the GOP's primary appeal to southern white males. It sure does explain Jeff Sessions - ignorant, white, redneck male. The Bama crackers jes luv him.

Posted by: afgail | May 14, 2009 2:13 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps the detainees should be transferred to a holding facility in Alabamy. On second thought, THAT would be cruel and unusual punishment.

Posted by: thegliblib | May 14, 2009 3:39 AM | Report abuse

Just another one of those insightful comments from a "blue-eyed white boy"

Posted by: Terypat | May 14, 2009 4:52 AM | Report abuse

What a moron. Sessions ought to take his racist butt to Cuba and stay for a while.

Posted by: grf67 | May 14, 2009 5:35 AM | Report abuse

This guy is the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary committee? This seems to be what the Republican party has come to after years of denigrating education and intelligence in favor stupidity. I wonder if people like him at home because they think he'd be fun to have a beer with? How did things get so screwed up that a person of this level could become the ranking Republican on such an important committee? You realize that this means that the "folks" back home have been re-electing this guy for a lot of years? Scary!

Posted by: karela | May 14, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

I am 50+ years old and I don't think I have ever witnessed the type and level of insanity being verbalized by one Republican/conservative or another. Each day some Republican/ conservative "hater" has no problem verbalizing disdain for fellow human beings (immigrants, abortion advocates, moderates, liberals, socialists, the French, Europeans, non-Christians, blacks...). As someone said, at the end of the day there may not be a dimes difference between a Democrat and a Republican. If that is the case, at least Democrats don't proudly voice their disdain for anyone unlike them. How this party thinks it can ever win the majority of a changing electorate is a mystery to me. I am sorry, their pleas for a tougher defense (for a country with the toughest defense), less regulation (we see where that took us), and lower taxes will not do it when you can't trust the real feelings of the persons you are voting with.

Posted by: OneStop1 | May 14, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

WTF --- Sessions is a RETHUGLICAN from Alabama and wears his innate form of prejudice on his forehead. This comment is a microcosm of the LACK OF INTELLIGENCE by and from the right. Come on - people - it's ok cause there are tropical breezes.....

vomiting ......

Posted by: Bhshore1 | May 14, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Sessions wants to keep Guantanamo open, so that when the Permanent Republican Emergency facists take over they can use it to "disappear" all dissent.

What gets me is all the people who are so afraid of transferring the Guantanamo prisoners to the mainland. In our state prisons we hold many more people who are more of a threat - seriously mentally ill psychopaths, murderers, gang-bangers, and members of right-wing white supremacy groups who are more dangerous to our democracy than any Arab terrorist. Heck, right now Congress should more afraid of the right-winger gun nuts and white supremists running lose in this country than any Arab terrorist group.

Posted by: Chagasman | May 14, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

A "bipartisan effort to withhold funds ... to close" Guantanamo?
You mean there are some DEMOCRATs who're stupid enough to want to keep it open?
Or is it just Joe Lieberman?
If it's just him, that's not bipartisan!

Posted by: gerardmulholland1 | May 14, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world-enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites-causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity, and especially because it forces so many really good men amongst ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty-criticizing the Declaration of Independence, and insisting that there is no right principle of action but self-interest. -- Abraham Lincoln, August 12, 1858

Posted by: skie | May 14, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

In case you bleeding heart liberals don't understand, we are still in a state of war with these terror groups and it is pretty obvious that these people represent a continuing threat to the security of this country. They are technically prisoners of war and since most were captured, not in military uniforms, on the battlefields, we are being very kind as to their treatment. Their side does not take prisoners, just in case you are too naive to notice. As a result of your whining and crying about the purported violations of their so-called "civil rights", it wouldn't surprise me if we did not take many prisoners in the future. Most of these people killed Americans. Doesn't this mean more than your personal greed or your quest for fame, or your wish to be accepted with open arms into a anti-war group? To me this is more about your quest for payback against the Bush Administration. You really need to think about wether you want to live in this country or find another country such as France that is more to your personal desires. This is a great country and we are not going to let you Prius driving, latte sipping, liberal "intellectuals" tear it down. Why don't you do something constructive and help the country not embarrass it and us with your sniveleing.

Posted by: ROYSTOLL2 | May 14, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

My answer to all of these liberals who want Gitmo shut down and the prisoners freed is:
Where do you live and how many will you take?

Posted by: GAR1227 | May 14, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

After nearly 6 decades of living I thought I couldn't be surprised anymore. I was wrong!

I am utterly amazed that people like Sessions, Michelle Bachmann and others could get elected to office let alone provide leadership in times of crisis.

I suppose that what surprises me the most is that some Americans are actually dumb enough or ignorant enough to elect people like Sessions to office.

Posted by: lrobby1 | May 14, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

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