Sen. Chambliss and Gitmo

Chambliss Statement on Transferring Detainees Out of Guantanamo 

WASHINGTON- U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement regarding President Obama’s announcement today that they intend to repatriate an additional two detainees to Algeria from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay:

“People across America are very concerned that this administration still has no plan for these hard-core terrorists if efforts to close Guantanamo are successful. Sending them to countries where Al Qaeda and its affiliates operate and continue to attack our interests is not a solution. With the recidivism rate now at 28%, no detainee should be transferred to any place unless we are absolutely confident he will be effectively monitored and cannot renew terrorist ties. We know one former GTMO detainee was involved in the Benghazi attacks, and we simply cannot afford to take that risk with other detainees just to satisfy a political promise. To do so would be nothing short of an invitation for Al Qaeda to continue to attack us.”

17 comments

  1. George Chidi says:

    Once. Just once. I would like to hear guys like Chambliss, who worship loudly at the altar of the Constitution, who decry the tyranny of the state, who rail about the loss of our freedoms, just one damned time acknowledge that keeping men prisoner indefinitely without trial or formal charge is a bald violation of the fifth, sixth and eighth amendments.

    Just once.

    • Noway says:

      Was going to say the same thing as Harry, George. Do they get the rights you speak of being enemy combatants?

    • Noway says:

      George, serious question, cause I don’t have this figured out, not by a long shot. What would you do to lessen the animosity felt against the West by the radicals islamists? I know this isn’t the type of reply that you can tell me in two sentences, but what are your thoughts?

      • George Chidi says:

        First, the Constitution often does not enumerate rights given to people so much as enjoin the government against certain specific activities. It’s not that people have the right not to be held without trial so much as that the government specifically does not have the right to imprison someone without charge, indefinitely. The prohibition applies regardless of the person imprisoned, and the case law on this is quite clear. Military tribunals are legal, indefinite detention without charge is not.

        The primary way to lessen hostility toward radical islamists is to avoid creating more of them by killing innocent people, which we do with great frequency and acknowledge grudgingly and with qualifiers when we acknowledge it at all. The Tsarnaev brothers were apparently radicalized in part by reports of a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan that killed dozens of children. We’ve killed between 160 and 200 children among the thousands of civilians dead in drone strikes since the war began. Estimates vary, but the high end of the credible numbers guess that roughly one out of eight people we kill with drones in Pakistan is a noncombatant civilian. The Islamic press reports drone casualties with exactly the diligence the American press would report a terrorist strike in the United States. We never discuss these disasters. At all.

        • pettifogger says:

          The case law on this is not quite clear, and to say otherwise is entirely dishonest. Your opinion on this is clear, but Supreme Court precedent does not seem to match it. Otherwise, the US (including the President) has been engaging in illegal, as opposed to extra legal activity, for the entirety of this conflict.

          I would invite your alternate solution to “indefinite” detention as combatants await charges. Of course, my preferred solution is that they be extinguished on the battlefield, but quite clearly our soldiers and Marines are put in scenarios where this is impossible, either due to our own military/political directives or the actions of the combatants. So we end up with fighters/combatants/terrorists/AQ/Taliban/etc. in military/intelligence custody, but with scant evidence to prosecute via normal means (including military tribunal).

          On your other points, we do discuss drone killings, just not at large, which lessens the impact. Drone strikes as a topic of discussion have become almost comical in the foreign policy community because they tend to be connected to every blowback incident we encounter, much as you infer. Of course, radicalism occurred at equal rates prior to our use of drone strikes, although I agree we should, and of course do, study the impact of our actions on the target country.

          But once again, the question for how to proceed remains. No entity in the history of the world has invested as much time or money, or put as many of our human lives at risk, for the purpose of avoiding civilian casualties. The contrast with those the US fights against could not be more stark in this regard.

  2. Herb says:

    Guantanamo Bay is a travesty. Too bad Obama’s been unwilling to stick it to the Pugs like Chambliss and simply close it up. Just shows you where trying to be loved by one and all will get you.

    • Herb says:

      Try them in a civilian court, and give them life sentences in high security prisons inside the US if convicted. Executing them(or anyone else, for that matter) goes against our moral fabric as a country.

      • Noway says:

        More people favor capitol punishment than don’t, Herb. It goes just fine with the majority’s moral fabric.

      • pettifogger says:

        We don’t have the evidence in many circumstances.

        Catching a guy with a gun running away from an area where contact was made, for all practical purposes, evidences that guy as an enemy fighter. Doesn’t necessarily work with civilian standards, however.

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