Argument: Conducting detainee trials in the US would endanger US citizens

Issue Report: Guantanamo Bay Detention Center


Jennifer Rubin. “Re: Obama Closes Gitmo”. Commentary Magazine. January 22, 2009 – If the Republicans are looking for a good issue, here is one: promise to filibuster (with the help of Democrats from affected states) any attempt (and the required funding) to put terror suspects within the confines of the U.S. Why should Democrats’ acute sensitivity about world opinion (emanating from that bastion of human rights, the UN) take priority over the peace of mind of our own citizens? It is baffling.

[…] in the end we’d have essentially the same legal system, extremely dangerous prisoners on U.S. soil, and the same complaints from the civil liberties lobby. This is a peculiar type of change indeed, one attuned to the elusive and subjective feelings of “world opinion,” and the liberal attorneys now populating the Justice Department. But in this new moral equation we actually don’t treat the detainees any differently. We just move them. (I can only imagine what it will do for housing prices in those locales.) There is an exquisite degree of hypocrisy at work and a lack of appreciation for what really matters — the safety of our own citizens.

Letter from Texas Senator John Cornyn to Barack Obama arguing against closing Guantanamo. January 22, 2009 – According to reports, your Administration is considering plans to move these terrorists into the United States for trial. In my judgment, this would be a colossal mistake. Bringing the detainees here would pose intolerable national security risks. For many of these terrorists, infiltrating and destroying the United States is their life’s mission. The United States government should not knowingly bring such men into our country.

The American people agree that moving terrorists into the United States is a risk that we cannot afford. A recent Gallup poll shows that only 35% percent of Americans favor closing Guantanamo. I have little doubt that even fewer want the terrorists imported to our shores. In 2007, ninety-four Senators, including Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Clinton voted to keep terrorist detainees out of the United States. I was one of those ninety-four Senators, and I will continue to do everything in my power to keep these terrorists out of Texas, or anywhere else in the United States.