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Transferring terror to our shores

By Spencer Price Sometimes I think I’d be better off if I ignored national politics altogether, turned off the TV, unplugged the radio, tossed the computer in the dump, and spent the rest of my days out on the farm tending my cows, playing with my dogs, and fishing in my pond. At the very least, I would probably be a whole lot happier. However, try as I might, I just can’t seem to ignore what’s happening in Washington. That’s because, for reasons unknown to me, I’m concerned about the future of this great country of ours. So, it appears I’m destined to closely monitor the serial bunglings unfolding daily in our nation’s capitol. The latest cause célèbre which is actually much ado about nothing is the ‘Gitmo’ question. From a common-sense conservative point of view, it’s a no brainer ‘“ try the alleged terrorists there rather than here in our own backyard. But to liberals, the mere existence of the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is a breach of everything they hold sacred ‘“ which isn’t much. The fact that most liberals believe Gitmo should be closed but are unable to explain exactly why doesn’t surprise me. Most liberals I’ve talked to about the ‘Gitmo’ question can’t even explain what purpose the facility actually serves. Of course, they know that terror suspects are housed there, but I’ve yet to meet a liberal that can explain the international mandate that sanctions their confinement. Most liberals seem content to follow the leftist national news media’s anti-Bush position on the subject without seeking to understand the facts ‘“ there again, no surprise to me. Liberals and their ACLU pals argue that the creation of the Gitmo detention facility by the Bush Administration in 2002 to house alleged terrorists was unconstitutional (curiously, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has argued for decades that the US Naval Base at Gitmo is there illegally even though the legitimate Cuban government signed a perpetual lease agreement granting the land to the US in 1903 ‘“ I bet Fidel thinks rather highly of the ACLU). Keep in mind that only people allegedly engaged in or tied to terrorist acts, which are violations of international law, are housed there, i.e., members of al-Qaeda and the Taliban primarily. In contrast, enemy combatants (read: soldiers), as defined by the Geneva Conventions (members of an organized military unit wearing distinctive uniforms as to set them apart from non-combatant civilians) are granted POW status and thus, are not housed at Gitmo. Liberals attempted to have the existence of the facility declared unconstitutional but failed. The Supreme Court did rule in 2006 in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that detainees were subject to Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions granting them basic protections such as adequate food, shelter, medical care, etc. But this proved a hollow victory for liberals in that detainees where already receiving these accommodations. Next, enter President Obama who, in an effort to appease his liberal fan club, declared he would in fact close Gitmo. Of course, that was before the House and Senate, both controlled by democrats, said no way by voting to deny the funds necessary to close Gitmo and transfer the detainees here. In fact, the Senate voted 90 ‘“ 6 against Obama’s proposal ‘“ what in sports parlance is referred to as a ‘smack down.’ Apparently, the House and Senate saw clearly the folly of bringing potentially dangerous criminals to this country, even if Obama didn’t. In a flip-flop that would make Senator John Kerry proud (you remember – ‘I actually did vote for the $87 billion [for the war in Iraq] before I voted against it’), President Obama has now agreed that military tribunals are appropriate for the detainees ‘“ the same thing the Bush Administration had been saying for years. But such a declaration has angered Obama’s liberal allies. Why? Because liberals want the detainees tried in US courts in order that they have a greater chance of going free. That’s because the rules of evidence for military tribunals and US courts are different meaning much of the evidence against the detainees would be ruled inadmissible in the US system. And where would the detainees go after being released by US courts? Who knows for sure but I don’t want to give them the chance to stay here and continue their allegedly terrorist ways. The bottom line is that Gitmo is a reasonable plan for dealing with alleged terrorists who violate international law in the way they choose to wage their war and thus, relinquish most claims of rights under the Geneva Conventions. And Gitmo works. For seven years, the length of time that Gitmo has been in existence, no terrorist acts have occurred in the US. But if Obama and the liberals get their way, that may all change as the administration closes Gitmo and begins transferring terror to our shores. To contact Spencer, read his blog, or review an archive of his columns, please visit

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