Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No Terrorists in Old Town Alexandria, Please

NIMBY Alert! NIMBY Alert! The Washington Post reports that residents of downtown Alexandria, Virginia, are up in arms over the likely use of the Alexandria Federal Courthouse to try some or all of the detainees now held at Guantanamo Bay's Camp Delta.

An outcry is growing in Alexandria over a prospect no one seems to like: terrorist suspects in the suburbs.

- snip -

"We would be absolutely opposed to relocating Guantanamo prisoners to Alexandria," Mayor William D. Euille (D) said. "We would do everything in our power to lobby the president, the governor, the Congress and everyone else to stop it. We've had this experience, and it was unpleasant. Let someone else have it."

- snip -

"I've never agreed with people who say 'not in my back yard,' but there are just too many people around here," said Jim Boulton, president of the unit owners association at the Caryle Towers condominium complex [located in the immediate vicinity of the courthouse], which has been trying to get the government to remove security barriers left over from the Moussaoui trial. "They need to find someplace else."

Moussaoui, et al, have to go somewhere if Camp Delta is closed, don't they? Why shouldn't that be Alexandria, where 71% of the city residents voted for Obama last November? I take it for granted that Mayor Euille, Mr. Boulton, and everyone else quoted by the WaPo support the administration's announced intention of closing Gitmo. Mayor Euille ought to do everything in his power to lobby the White House for the privilege of hosting those prisoners in his city, not to pass the buck to some other jurisdiction. Where's the courage of his convictions?

It looks like the typical Alexandrian's support for closing Gitmo shrinks as the distance between them and the Gitmo detainees gets smaller.


Melissa said...

Oooooooh - this is just a couple blocks away from my apartment. Exciting! When you live next to a federal courthouse, things like this are just going to happen. What do people think happens in a courthouse? I'm not at all surprised by the reaction though. I love the neighborhood, but some of the neighbors...

Consul-At-Arms said...

I've quoted you and linked to you here: http://consul-at-arms2.blogspot.com/2009/04/re-no-terrorists-in-old-town-alexandria.html