January 17, 2009

ABC News says it has a hold of the secret list of possible locations for building Gitmo's replacement. Somewhere there will be a camp for about 250 detainees, which being on American soil will sideline weasel-worded talk of those detainees not getting things like Habeas rights or fair trials because they're held "abroad".

And "not in my backyard" Nimby Republican politicians, while doubtless agreeing that these detainees have to be held somewhere until their trials are all certain about it not being in their area.

Three San Diego county Congressmen have already voiced opposition to sending the terror detainees to Camp Pendleton.

Congressmen Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Brian Bilbray (R-CA) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) sent a letter Tuesday to Defense Secretary Robert Gates saying Camp Pendleton was too busy preparing Marines for combat.

... A spokesman for Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) said that the Senator called Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen earlier this week to convey his concerns about using Fort Leavenworth to house detainees... Brownback said the use of Leavenworth to house prisoners would interfere with the primary mission of the base which is education.

Sheer recalcitrant and obstructive stupidity. The ABC report makes it plain that the new prison complex will be "built in an isolated and secure area", not right next to existing facilities. If these nimbys had a real reason - say, that it would simplify questions about legal jurisdiction if they were held at a federal rather than military facility - I'd understand, but they don't. They just want to be seen to oppose an Obama Presidential plan, whatever it is, for selfish political reasons. Whatever happened to the Republican meme that criticising a how the president plans to fight the "great war on terror" for purely political gain is equivalent to aiding the enemy? Oh yeah - IOKIYAR.

Unless, of course, Rachel Maddow is correct in which case these Republicans may be part of a Bush administration ploy to make the case against Gitmo closure by arguing that "dangerous people who have been abused there, who've been tortured there and can't be prosecuted because of that abuse - they still can't be let out," because they will "return to the fight". These nimbys part would be to suggest, ever so slyly, that escaping from a mainland prison would be easier for these "dangerous people" and threaten the safety of military members and their families.

But there are some big flaws in that argument. Not least that 86% of Gitmo detainees have never even been charged or that the Pentagon's claims of the number of former detainees - all released by political order, rather than after trial - returning to terror are entirely made up. Maddow spoke with Seton Hall Law professor about his center's studies, which show just how made up. Watch that interview here, courtesy of Heather at Crooks and Liars Video Cafe.

Crossposted from Newshoggers

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