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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/19/09

Here's a Detailed Plan For Closing Guantanamo, So Congress Can Fund Closure

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Senator Feinstein and White House spokesman Robert Gibbs agree that the $80 million dollars in funding needed to close Guantanamo should be delayed until a detailed plan for transferring the prisoners is presented.

By way of background, as Dick Cheney said Sunday:
I don’t know a single congressional district in this country that is going to say, gee, great, they’re sending us 20 Al Qaida terrorists.
Along the same lines, Senator Richard Shelby asked Attorney General Holder:
Do you know of any community in the US that would welcome terrorists, would be terrorists, former terrorists incarcerated in Guantanamo?
In other words, many people argue that because no one will accept the prisoners, a detailed plan for closing Gitmo isn't possible at this time.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I've got your detailed plan right here . . .

As Al Jazeera’s Rob Reynolds reports, the town of Hardin, Montana is requesting that 100 Gitmo detainees be sent to its empty prison:

Earlier this month, Hardin’s town council voted unanimously to offer the US government a deal: Send Hardin the detainees that most foreign countries and other cities the US are afraid to take.

“Why not us?” [Greg Smith, Hardin's economic development director] asks. “They’ve got to go somewhere.” He dismisses security concerns over housing inmates former Bush administration officials famously described as “the worst of the worst”. “We have some very hardened criminals in our own country that have committed some heinous crimes, and they are in communities all across this country,” Smith argues. [...]

He estimates at least 100 new jobs would come from filling the prison, a real boost to this small, beleaguered community. Smith describes the town’s quest to become a new penal colony as “a piece of the American dream.” “Like anything in America, we’re looking for opportunities,” he says.

Given that - according to the number two man at the State Department under Colin Powell, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, many of those being held at Guantanamo Bay were innocent, and many have probably been tortured into insanity - they may be a lot less problematic than Hardin's local toughs.

In addition, Congressman Jim Moran has said that detainees could be tried in his Alexandria, Virginia district. So a real judge in a real court could rule on their cases.
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George Washington

As a political activist for decades, I have rejoiced in victories for the people and mourned in defeats. I chose the pen name "George Washington" because - as Washington's biographies show - he wasn't a (more...)
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