HomeFeaturesDailyBriefingsRapidReconSpecial ReportsAbout Us

Gitmo - NIMBY!

As noted a couple of days ago in the Daily Briefings, President Obama has requested a 120-day suspension of all Guantanamo Bay military tribunal proceedings. Judge granted as new administration weighs closing GITMO and beginning civilian trials in CONUS. Despite the potential logistical nightmare created by the potential closing of the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, as well as the associated legal and diplomatic issues, the plan is now spurring partisan political responses. Human rights issues aside for the moment (not even sure if they are relevant), the suspension of the military commissions could permit Khalid Sheik Mohammed to escape death as the planner and perpetrator of the World Trade Center attacks. Again, setting aside the fact that he and the other al Qaeda detainees alleged to be part of the September 11th attacks want to die as martyrs, are they to be "resettled" elsewhere and not get what they deserve?

For sure, the Texas Congressional Delegation is making itself quite clear on the issue.

Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) has written a letter to President Obama "telling him, 'Don't move these dangerous terrorists to Texas - we don't want them there.'"

"I think governing is a lot harder than campaigning," Cornyn said. "I think he needs to be very cautious about precipitous action that could well endanger American citizens."

Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) offered legislation Thursday, H.R. 630 preventing a federal judge from allowing the detainees to be transferred to detention facilities in the U.S.

"If terrorists suddenly get the same rights as citizens, then we've turned the world upside down," Smith said. "We don't think there should be a limit to their detention as long as they are a clear and present danger."

Apparently, Congressman Murtha sees it differently, saying, "They're no more dangerous in my district than in Guantanamo." While not making a value judgment on human rights, it is clear that many of the detainees, especially KSM and his al Qaeda cohorts, are not like "other prisoners."