Webb Says No to Detainees in Virginia
Virginia's senior U.S. senator, Democrat Jim Webb, told George Stephanopoulous of ABC's "This Week" yesterday that he opposes the release of detainees from the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, onto U.S. soil.
Webb's remarks added to the chorus of Virginia political leaders who have positioned themselves against the possibility that as many as 17 Chinese Muslims known as Uighurs might be released into a Uighur community in Fairfax County.
"It can be argued that they were simply conducting dissident activities against the government of China," Webb said. "On the other hand, they accepted training from al-Qaeda, and as a result, they have taken part in terrorism. I don't believe they should come to the United States."
The 17 Uighurs have been ordered released by a federal court, and Webb said they deserve due process. Their case has illuminated the complexity of some of the legal cases pending at Guantanamo. Some advocates say the Uighurs are innocent of any association with terrorist acts against the United States -- and must not be turned over to China, where they face possible persecution. But others say the fact of their training with terrorist makes them a risk.
Webb's endorsement of that view yesterday represented a change of position since Friday, when his office released a statement saying the senator was aware of community concerns about the issue but would wait to see what President Obama would propose.
Separately, Webb said he supports Obama's plan to re-establish military tribunals to try some of the detainees, many of whom could not be prosecuted in open courts because classified information could not be introduced.
Posted by: powerange | May 19, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jimeh | May 20, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.