Monday, April 13, 2009

Gitmo Detainees To End Up Virginia Jail?

No one quite knows where all the Guantanamo Bay detainees will end up, least of all the Obama Administration. The Administration made a show of calling for the closure of the facility by the end of this year, but didn't say where the detainees will be kept thereafter. Some may end up being released, which isn't going to improve US national security, and there are concerns over bringing them to facilities on the mainland.

Yet, there are some who are hoping that the detainees come their way.
Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne, whose jail houses federal prisoners for Alexandria Federal Court, near Washington, told city residents last week that some of Gitmo's baddest could end up there, the Daily News has learned.

If the government chooses the Alexandria court to try any of the 250 remaining detainees, who include five 9/11 plotters, "the prisoners may be housed at the Alexandria Detention Center," Lawhorne wrote in a letter obtained by The News.

The sheriff added that he has "received no official request to house the Guantanamo Bay prisoners in our detention center."

"The review is still underway and no decisions have been made," said Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

The jail is in the congressional district of a Democrat, Rep. James Moran, who has not said he opposes taking prisoners from the U.S. naval base in Cuba. But a powerful local GOP lawmaker, Rep. Frank Wolf, wants to bar Al Qaeda thugs from the lockup.

Government sources, however, told The News that Virginia is a likely venue for a few of the terror trials despite local griping.

Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.) has objected to any of the Gitmo goons going on trial in New York City for safety reasons.
The Daily News then decides to smear Ex-Navy Cmdr. Kirk Lippold, skipper of the destroyer Cole when Al Qaeda bombed it in 2000, claiming that Lippold played the fear card by warning of the closure.

By maintaining the facility at Guantanamo Bay, the terrorists cannot get easy access to the base and attempt a breakout and/or rescue operation. Siting the detainees on a base domestically, the odds of such an incident are higher, and it increases the likelihood that the detainees and their supporters use lawfare to clog up the courts even more than at present.

The Administration never made a good case as to why the detainees should be moved from Guantanamo Bay; saying that improving the US stature among the world is insufficient. Those detainees include hardened terrorists who are unrepentant and have made it their ideological and religious obligation to attack the US at all costs. These people cannot simply be released, nor can trying them in US civilian courts be adequate given that these are not common criminals caught on the street and read their Miranda rights. They were captured on battlefields around the world or captured through our allies. Their nature of their crimes and how the evidence collected against them may include state secrets and reveal national security measures.

Further, other nations aren't exactly going out of their way to take them in either. After all, as some national leaders wondered, if these detainees aren't dangerous, how come the US isn't taking them in.

No comments: