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Moran Sidesteps the Gitmo Issue

Anita Kumar

U.S. Rep. Jim Moran raised some eyebrows earlier this week when he wrote that he would be open to inmates from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility being housed in Virginia (though he would not prefer it).

So we thought we'd ask his little brother, gubernatial candidate Brian Moran, what he thought? But we didn't really get much of an answer.

"I have tremendous confidence in the leadership of President Obama,'' Moran said in a statement. "I look forward to his recommended plans and will evaluate them once they are released. It's important that we put a premium on protecting the community of Alexandria and preserving our local resources while ensuring everyone's legal rights."

The two other Democratic candidates for governor, R. Creigh Deeds and Terry McAuliffe, were a bit more definitive.

"Sen. Creigh Deeds opposes having Guantanamo Bay detainees tried in Virginia," said Joe Abbey, Deeds' campaign manager. "Common sense says this is a bad idea for Virginia. This is a problem created by George Bush and Dick Cheney -- so maybe they should be thinking about Texas or Wyoming."

"I have serious concerns about housing detainees in Virginia and I certainly disagree with the notion that we should be inviting them to our population centers like Alexandria,"
McAuliffe said.

President Obama has vowed to close Guantanamo by January, and the government is reviewing files on the roughly 240 detainees. The administration has strongly indicated that some will be transferred to federal courts, and a senior Justice Department official named Alexandria, along with Manhattan, as possible destinations.

Republican nominee Robert F. McDonnell was the first of the four to come against the proposal in April.

"The terrorists and enemy combatants currently housed 90 miles from our shores at Guantanamo Bay are some of the most dangerous men in the world,'' McDonnell said. "Now the federal government is considering placing some of these individuals in the middle of a busy Virginia city, just feet away from hotels, apartments, restaurants and shops."

By Anita Kumar  |  May 14, 2009; 3:35 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe  
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