President Obama’s order for the Guantanamo prison to be closed leaves some nagging questions unanswered,chiefly the issue of where the prisoners will go when the compound at Guantanamo is closed.
Senator Bond thinks it’s a mistake to shut down the prison. “Do we transfer detainees here to the United States?” he asked income National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair, continuing, “I don’t know of any city or town around this country that would be thrilled to have (terrorists) living down the street. And under what evidence rules should they be tried? These are not ordinary bank robbers. They are terrorists apprehended overseas, sometimes through intelligence means that could not and must not be disclosed in court.”
He says sending the detainees to another country or back to their home countries is not a good idea, either. “The Pentagon’s recent report found that 61 released detainees from G uantana mo have returned to the battlefield to attack and kill our soldiers, and other innocent civilians,” he says.
Senator McCaskill thinks Obama’s decision is a good one because the prison has not made this country safer from its enemies. “(The prison) has emboldened them. It has giventhem something to rally around,” she says. McCaskills says there are different ways to stay safe. “Probably the most important is by continuing to be a beacon to the rest of the world about how you do a democracy; how you have rule of law; how you have a constitution that is respected; how you set an example for the rest of the world.” She says Obama’s decision was made in that context.
The federal prison at Leavenworth, Kansas has been mentioned as a possible housing place for the Guantanamo detainees that are moved to the mainland. It’s not a plan McCaskill will support. She says, “It’s in our area and it certainly could impact…my friends in Buchanan County and that surrounding area. I think we would prefer for them not to come on American soil. But I must say this is going to have to be worked out on a case-by-case basis. They’re going to do what is in the best interest of the safety of Americans…They have to decide where these detainees can be kept and face the rule of law, whether it be military or the criminal rule of law in our country.”
McCaskill maintains Leavenworth, in Kansas, and the state prisons in Missouri and elsewhere in the country already hold violent criminals, some of whom might be more dangerous and more violent than those at Guantanamo. She says the chances of winning the lottery are better than the chances of an inmate escaping from one of those prisons.