Sunday, May 17, 2009

Senator Webb Opposes Bringing Gitmo Detainees to the U.S.

Another of my elected representatives, Senator James Webb (D-VA), has now joined Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) in publicly opposing the administration's plan to bring Gitmo detainees to the United States.

From today's report in The Hill (Sen. Webb reverses on Obama's Gitmo plans) a few quotes:

With Capitol Hill Republicans cranking up the volume on the issue of where to send alleged terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Democratic Sen. Jim Webb (Va.) reversed himself Sunday, and questioned President Obama's "artificial timelines" for closing the facility.

Webb, appearing on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" with Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, said that after reviewing Obama's plans to close the facility within one year, he doesn't agree with the president's time schedule and he opposes bringing any detainees to U.S. soil.

"We spend hundreds of millions of dollars building an appropriate facility with all security precautions in Guantanamo to try these cases," Webb said. "There are cases against international law. These aren't people who were in the United States, committing a crime in the United States. These are people who were brought to Guantanamo for international terrorism. I do not believe they should be tried in the United States."

When pressed on the year deadline, Webb suggested the administration might have to be more flexible as it figures out where to send detainees.

"They've said a lot of things and taken a look and said some other things," Webb said. "So let's process these people in a very careful way and then take care of it."

He added: "I think we should defer to the judgment of the administration who is looking at this. I think we all are moving toward the right direction. But we shouldn't be creating artificial timelines."

No release of detainees into the U.S., no trials in the U.S., and no closure of Gitmo on the Obama administration's "artificial deadline." That's a conclusive rejection of the administration's intentions regarding the Gitmo Gang, and it comes from a Democrat who is not even up for re-election in the next cycle. The political winds are not blowing Obama's way on this issue.

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