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Friday, May 08, 2009

Keep Terrorists Out Of America Act

GOP lawmakers introduced "The Keep Terrorists Out Of America Act" and made the announcement at a press conference attended by ranking members of House committees.

The Keep Terrorists Out Of America Act is geared to keep those held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from being brought onto U.S. soil if Barack Obama closes Gitmo.

In fact, monies asked for by Obama to close Gitmo, has been denied to him with Democratic House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey saying Obama has yet to submit a "concrete" plan on where the suspected terrorist detainees would go if released from there.

The bill did include an amendment offered by Obey to require Obama to give Congress a "comprehensive plan" explaining the future of the detainees and the prison as well as a "detailed analysis of the total, estimated direct costs of closing the detention facility.

Todd Tiahrt also proposed an amendment to the emergency spending bill, which would have specifically banned and Gitmo "detainee from entering the United States."

Congress actually rejected that amendment in a 21-36 vote, politicians voting along party lines.

After the failed vote, Tiahrt said that it's now "public record" that Democrats want to "transfer or release detainees on American soil with full knowledge that some will be released on our streets."

Tiahrt also introduced the No Welfare for Terrorists Act of 2009, which prohibits any detainee from Guantanamo Bay who is released into the United States from receiving federal benefits such as food stamps or welfare.

Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair suggested last month that the U.S. would likely give government assistance to detainees released in the U.S. "to start a new life," the Kansas lawmaker noted.

Heh, how does that sound? Taxpayers being responsible for paying for welfare and government benefits of suspected terrorists and al-Qaeda members?

Warm and fuzzy again yet?

Several GOP lawmakers on Thursday introduced the Keep Terrorists Out of America Act, which prohibits the Obama administration from transferring or releasing any suspected terrorists at Guantanamo to any state without expressed approval from the state's governor and legislature. The legislation also demands the administration certify to Congress that certain requirements have been met.

"The world did not suddenly become safe in January 2009. There are still terrorists around the world who are committed to killing Americans and destroying our way of life. A number of those terrorists are being held at the prison in Guantanamo Bay right now," said House Minority Leader John Boehner. "If the administration is allowed to proceed, they won't be there for long. In fact, they may be right here, in the United States."

H/T Weekly Standard, we have a video of Peter Hoekstra, ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, explaining.

Greg Sargent provides the summary of The Keep Terrorists Out Of America Act:

Keep Terrorists Out of America Act: Protecting American Communities from the World’s Most Dangerous Terrorists

May 7, 2009

On January 22, 2009, President Obama signed an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison that holds hundreds of the world’s most dangerous terrorists within one year. This decision was made without a backup plan in place for where these terrorists would go. So the key question remains: What is our nation’s plan for dealing with these terrorists? Will they be brought into the United States? Will they be released back onto the battlefield? These questions haven’t been answered, and the American people deserve answers.

The Keep Terrorists Out of America Act gives Members of Congress an opportunity to stand with the American people by affirming their opposition to releasing the terrorists at Guantanamo prison or bringing them into the United States. It also makes clear that governors and state legislatures must pre-approve the transfer or release of any terrorist detainee into their respective states. And lastly it requires the President to meet strict criteria and certification standards before terrorists housed at the Guantanamo prison could be brought to the United States. Following is a summary of the bill:

Affirming Congress’ Opposition to the Release and Transfer of Terrorists. The bill affirms Congress’ opposition to transferring or releasing terrorists held at the Guantanamo Bay prison into the United States. Most Americans do not support releasing these terrorists from Guantanamo Bay prison and transferring them into the United States. The bill gives Congress an opportunity to show that it stands with the American people on this critical matter, and opposes the release and transfer of these terrorists.

Governor & State Legislature Pre-Approval. The measure prohibits the Administration from transferring or releasing any terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay to any state without express approval from the state’s governor and legislature, and certifies to Congress that strict requirements have been met. For example, the Administration must certify to the respective governor and state legislature that the detainee does not pose a security risk to the United States. The certifications must be made 60 days before any transfer or release.

Presidential Certification Requirements. The measure prohibits the President from transferring or releasing a terrorist detainee into the United States unless he provides the following notification and certification to Congress regarding:

· The name of the detainee and transfer/release location in the United States.

· The release/transfer would not negatively impact continued prosecution of the detainee.

· The release/transfer would not negatively impact continued detention of the detainee.

· The ability of federal judges to release detainees into the United States.

For Obama to say he wants to close Gitmoto is just fine and dandy, whether he is being truthful or just posturing, but when his own party members agree that he hasn't got a comprehensive plan on how to do it, or where those suspected terrorists would go and even suggesting that detainees would get "U.S. assistance" to start a new life??


Imagine being on record though, voting against something called "Keep Terrorists Out Of America Act," talk about a career killer!

[Update] In case folks think it is only Republicans and Obey noting Obama's lack of a comprehensive plan.... not true.

Now Democrats are ganging up on President Barack Obama’s plans to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison. Or rather, the president’s lack of planning for how to shutter the prison and how to handle the detainees.

“They say, ‘We’re going to close Guantanamo.’ OK, fine. How are you going to do that? That’s the question,” Rep. Neal Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) told POLITICO Thursday. “They should have had that worked out from the get-go.”

“There’s this vague game plan that now we’re going to leave Guantanamo,” Abercrombie said. “It’s allowed it to become a political football.”

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said he believed there were prisons in the United States that could handle the Guantanamo detainees, but it’s becoming clear that many states and localities want nothing to do with the terrorist suspects.

(Emphasis mine)

My answer to Levin: No shit Sherlock! How about you volunteer to house them in your house, with your family dude!

All these calls for the closure of Gitmo, yet I do not see anyone that is calling for it suggesting the suspected terrorists be housed in their town.