At 6:30 am this morning, I boarded a plane to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Over twelve hours later, I am back in Washington D.C., my resolve to stop suspected terrorists from coming to the United States further cemented. ...This morning news continued to surface about the captured U.S. solider in Afghanistan. Yet as I observed the facilities at Guantanamo and questioned the leadership there, I was struck at the contrast in the high-quality treatment and facilities that our government affords enemy combatants at Guantanamo verses the unknown circumstances and fate of this American soldier. ....The decision of where and how we handle detainees at Guantanamo Bay will be monumental to the security of our nation in the near and far term. The precedence we set today will have impacts generations from now....Many of you know that I have introduced legislation to prohibit the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to U.S. soil - and specifically to Virginia where analysis indicates they would be likely to be held. ....In May of this year, Federal Bureau of Investigations Director Robert Mueller told Congress that bringing Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States could pose a number of risks, even if they were kept in maximum-security prisons. “The concerns we have about individuals who may support terrorism being in the United States run from concerns about providing financing, radicalizing others,” Mueller said, as well as “the potential for individuals undertaking attacks in the United States." ...High-ranking officials I spoke with at Guantanamo today echoed the potential harm that these detainees pose to U.S. citizens. Even families of the 9-11 victims have urged the administration to drop its plans to close Guantanamo and have advocated for terror trials to restart there....Tomorrow morning I plan to take my case to my colleagues again both in the media and in the halls of Congress. Politics aside, bringing detainees to the United States is a risk we cannot take.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 7:37 AM