Missouri’s two U.S. Senators express concerns about the decision to have some of the Guantanamo detainees tried for terrorism in the United States. But only one says it’s the wrong thing to do.
Senator Christopher “Kit” Bond (R-MO) believes Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others detained at Gitmo are not run of the mill criminals and should not be brought to the U.S. mainland for trial.
“These are illegal combatants in a war on terror that’s been called on us,” said Bond in his weekly telephone conference call with Missouri radio reporters. “They don’t deserve the constitutional protections that we afford American citizens or people who are lawfully in this country.”
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) doesn’t care for the idea of bringing the terror suspects to the U.S. but feels President Barack Obama’s authority to do so should not be called into question.
“I’m not sure I would have made that decision,” said McCaskill to Missouri reporters in her weekly radio conference call. “But I do think that it is inappropriate for that decision to be taken away from the Commander in Chief.”
McCaskill believes the U.S. judicial system will deal with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and ensure that justice is served.
“Having some experience in the criminal courtrooms in our country, under Article 3 of our Constitution, I have a great deal of confidence in the juries and our criminal justice system that they will convict this man and they will put him to death,” said McCaskill.
Bond doesn’t want to take a chance. He was among the 43 Senators backing a vote on a Senate amendment, on Tuesday, that aimed to prevent the transfer of Gitmo detainees to U.S. soil. He says the Senate can only stop the detainees from being brought here if Democrats join Republicans to stop it from happening.
“Unfortunately, there’s a lot that the Senate could do but it requires a majority,” said Bond. “It appears that the Democratic majority has joined, almost in total lock-step with the (Obama) administration, to support this policy.”
While Bond voted in favor of the amendment to stop the detainees from coming to the U.S., McCaskill was one of 57 voting to table the amendment, meaning the actual amendment was not voted on.