Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) added her voice yesterday to a predictable chorus of Kansas politicians campaigning to prohibit any detainees from Guantanamo ending up at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth when President-elect Obama closes the prison. Concerns about future acts terrorism are understandable, if misguided, in the debate surrounding the closure of Guantanamo. Yet, it is not enough to say Guantanamo is a problem and it must be closed and then refuse to be part of the solution.
Home-state politicians screaming “not-in-my-back-yard” (NIMBY) will certainly become a major feature of the debate surrounding Guantanamo in the weeks and months to come. Sen. Sam Brownback (R) is driving this effort which has led to legislation being introduced at the local, state, and national level to keep Guantanamo detainees out of Kansas. It is disappointing that Gov. Sebelius has jumped on the Brownback NIMBY bandwagon, not least because the motivation to protect American lives should encourage our leaders to explore every available option to close Guantanamo quickly and responsibly.
Kansas’ contribution could be that a small number of lower-level Guantanamo detainees that might be convicted in military courts-martial end up in the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks (USDB) at Ft. Leavenworth. The USDB, the only maximum security prison in the entire military system, is a state-of-the art 515-cell facility built in 2002 that has a special housing unit designed precisely for maximum security detainees.
Do you see now why I call them cowards? It's not that anybody's suggesting that Kansas move a bunch of terrorists into their suburbs, they're whining because some of the detainees may end up in a maximum security facility.
Take a moment to absorb that.
You're right, it's unbelievable. Take two.
We broke these people. At some point, we're going to have to deal with them. If the whining's already this deafening over the idea that some of the more dangerous detainees may end up getting moved to a fucking maximum security prison, I hate to think what the volume's going to be when we try to find a place to put the poor sods who were innocent when we started torturing them.
I say we just lodge them in Bush's palatial new Dallas home. He is, after all, the one responsible for the damage. Of course, that's a form of torture all in itself, but maybe if we keep Bush locked in one of the bathrooms, those folks will do okay....