House Defeats Bill to House Terror Detainees in U.S. Prisons

Once again Democrats tried to get a bill passed in the House of Representatives to fund an expansion of U.S. prisons in order to house terror suspects in the U.S. heartland instead of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. As in years previous, however, the measure was defeated.

On June 4 the House shot down an amendment introduced by Representative Jim Moran (D, Vir.) to the military construction spending bill (H.R. 2216) that would have allowed the move.

Moran’s amendment would have struck out language that prevented the construction funds from going to any U.S. prison in order to house detainees now housed at Guantanamo. Moran insisted that the “best place” for accused terrorists is right here in the United States.

“The best place for them to be housed and then tried is in the United States,” Rep. Moran said. “The continuance of the Guantánamo Bay facility represents an immediate security threat to the United States because it is a rallying cry and a recruitment tool for our enemy.”

Moran’s amendment went down to defeat in a 170-254 vote. Every Republican except one voted against the amendment and the Democrats voted 169-25 in favor.

Bills or amendments to bills that would allow terror detainees to be housed in the heartland in U.S. prisons have been defeated several times in the past.

In 2009 the Obama administration floated the idea that detainees could be housed in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in Michigan, or an empty SuperMax prison in Illinois. But the idea was not looked upon favorably by Congress and never went anywhere.

At that time, even Democrat Senate Majority leader Harry Reid spoke out against housing terror detainees inside the U.S.

The Illinois prison plan was shot down by Congress in 2010.

Later, in November of 2012, the Senate approved a measure to prevent transfer of terrorist detainees into the U.S.

But a report issued by Senator Dianne Feinstein noted that U.S. prisons can handle an influx of terror suspects and pointed out that there are already 373 terror suspects in 98 different U.S. prisons now.

Support for expanding the influx of terror suspects, though, has never materialized.

Obama has struggled with concocting a way to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and has made no solid effort to do so despite making it one of his campaign promises way back in 2008.

Paul Krugman: 'We Are Kind of an Authoritarian Surveillance State'
Obama's Intelligence Agency Looking to Hire 'Digital Exploitation Specialist'
  • Commander_Chico

    A large percentage of guys at Gitmo are just chumps who were in the wrong place at the wrong time who were sold to US forces for reward money. No credible evidence against them.

    You’ve had several former prosecutors resign because they were ashamed to be part of the system. These were military officers of long service, not ACLU activists.

    It’s a scandal that no trials have been completed in more than ten years. They should have run these guys through hearings a long time ago. Unfortunately, nobody has the balls to take the political risk of turning anyone free, even if innocent.

    If they got rid of the innocent ones, they could disperse the guilty to Supermax prisons and save a lot of money. Maintaining that prison camp costs a lot of money.

    One problem is that even if a guy was innocent and not a danger to the USA when he was captured, he will be now after we tortured him and locked him up for 11 years. They would be looking for The Big Payback. Just another example of how we fuck up and make enemies.

    • jim_m

      A large percentage of guys at Gitmo are just chumps who were in the
      wrong place at the wrong time who were sold to US forces for reward
      money. No credible evidence against them.

      I see. You know this because they are close personal friends, or through your position on the joint chiefs?

      • Like most of what the soi disant cognoscenti and veteran knows it just ain’t so.

    • 100% of the folks remaining at the Guantanamo Detention Center are illegal combatants, having failed the tests of Geneva III Article IV in every respect. The customary penalty for being an illegal combatant is death.

      • Commander_Chico

        [Citation required]

        Yeah you both know so much more than those military prosecutors who resigned..

        • Identify the Armed force of a government they were operating on behalf of. Describe their uniform or identifying mark. Enlighten us as to their enforcement of the customary laws of warfare.

          Once again, what you claim to know is just not so.

          wikipedia, forsooth…

          You ignorant asshole of a soi disant cognoscenti veteran.

        • Jwb10001

          So you find 2 guys to support your view and that’s enough for you? Do you suppose there are at least 2 in a position to know that might contradict these 2 guys? If not, then your government, the one you helped reelect, is conducting some pretty terrible stuff and doing so with explicit information that should put an end to it. My guess is that a little google search would produce a good number experts that could make a compelling case that the people at gitmo deserve to be there. You know Chico you can always find people who’s claims fit your preconceived ideas.

          • Commander_Chico

            Your “guess” is that a Google search would find support for your position, but you don’t do the search. O-tay.

          • Jwb10001

            Nope because I don’t care, quite frankly. If your opinion mattered or if you weren’t a paranoid conspiracy nut I might take you more seriously. But riddle me this, what does anyone have to gain by holding these guys if they’ve done nothing, it’s not like we haven’t let others go. Why bother holding on these guys if they are just dupes? What does Obama or anyone in the current government have to gain when they could easily let some of them out and look like good guys? So given I see no motivation for the government to be involved in this I see no reason to chase down the details. But you go ahead maybe you’ll uncover the reason Bush flew drones into the world trade center while your at it.