The Fight Against Transferring Gitmo Detainees

Obama's second attempt at a plan seems unlikely to please the opposition.

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President Obama is back for another try at bringing 229 Guantanamo detainees to the states. Though Republicans rejected his first attempt to do so, a task force is developing plans to create hybrid courtroom-holding facilities in Michigan or Kansas. The first wave of reactions already shows little sign of abatement in the vocal opposition that capsized the plan months ago.

  • It Endangers Small Towns, says Representative Peter Hoekstra (R) of Michigan. "As people start getting an indication that they're going to Kansas, that they're going to California, that they're going to Illinois or to Michigan, people are going to say, 'No, why would we want them here and put them in a general prison population and make our hometowns a target for terrorists?'"
  • An Expensive, Needless Transfer says Senator Sam Brownback (R) from Kansas. "It makes no sense to spend millions and millions of dollars to build what we already have at Guantanamo"
  • This Still Won't Solve the Problem of Prisoners Held Indefinitely, says TalkLeft with a statement from the ACLU. "Any arrangement that allows indefinite detention without charge or trial will leave in place the problems that led President Obama to order the prison closed in the first place."
  • Too Many Chances for Government Incompetence, says DRJ at Patterico. "Implementing it will undoubtedly make Cash-for-Clunkers look well-run."
  • There Won't Be Enough Jurors, says Debra Cassens Weiss at ABA Journal. "There are a limited number of potential jurors in the rural areas to consider the fate of defendants in federal criminal trials."

There is, however, one compelling argument so far for the switch.

  • Michigan Needs These Jobs, argues Emptwheel. "Why not? We've got the empty prisons, the remote areas. And lots and lots of Michiganders who need a job."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.