Patterico's Pontifications

1/21/2009

Murtha: Bring GTMO Terrorists to Pennsylvania

Filed under: Politics,Terrorism,War — DRJ @ 6:30 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Democratic Rep. John Murtha represents part of Western Pennsylvania and on 9/11, Murtha’s district included Shanksville, Pa. where one of the four hijacked planes crashed. In 2008, Murtha won re-election despite labeling some of his constituents racist rednecks.

Now he says he’s willing to move the GTMO detainees to Pennsylvania:

“As one of his first acts in office, the president circulated a draft Wednesday that would shut down Guantanamo Bay within a year.

Murtha only has a minimum security prison in his district. But he says he’d have no reservations about holding detainees there in a maximum security prison.

“Sure, I’d take ’em,” said Murtha, an outspoken critic of the Iraq war. “They’re no more dangerous in my district than in Guantanamo.”

Murtha added that there was “no reason not to put ’em in prisons in the United States and handle them the way they would handle any other prisoners.”

But that idea disturbs House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. “Most communities around America don’t want dangerous terrorists imported into their neighborhoods,” Boehner said in a statement.”

Even Democratic House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton is conflicted on where to put the GTMO detainees, saying they’re “very unsavory.”

Obviously this doesn’t bother Murtha but I guess he won’t be living in Pennsylvania. He’ll be in Washington.

— DRJ

62 Responses to “Murtha: Bring GTMO Terrorists to Pennsylvania”

  1. There BUT for the grace of God – goes I

    What an exceedingly stupid thing to propose!

    EricPWJohnson (a47759)

  2. “Sure, I’d take ‘em,” said Murtha, an outspoken critic of the Iraq war. “They’re no more dangerous in my district than in Guantanamo.”

    Murtha added that there was “no reason not to put ‘em in prisons in the United States and handle them the way they would handle any other prisoners.

    It is this outrageous conceit and smugness of the left that will get us all killed. It’s far beyond naivete – just arrogance magnified.

    Thanks John Boehner and Ike Skelton for pointing out the obvious.

    The Dana who is thankful she is not in Pennsylvania (137151)

  3. I live in the Keystone State, but not in the Honorable Mr Murtha’s district.

    The Honorable Mr Murtha is making the same mistake that so many of our well-meaning friends on the left have made: he is thinking of the war on Islamic fascism as a law enforcement problem rather than what it really is: a war. He thinks that these fine, if misguided al Qaeda patriots and freedom fighters should be treated under federal criminal law, given fair trials with the right to call witnesses for their defense — and I suppose if Osama bin Laden refuses to appear upon subpoena, why we’d have to dismiss the charges, since the government could not compel all of the witnesses for their defense to appear — and they’d have to be freed. If they chose to be freed in the communities in which their trials were held, well, since they would be innocent of any crimes, how could we object?

    Of course, we all know that Mr Murtha is simply making a well-intentioned error. I’m certain that he thinks these fine men, unjustly separated from their families and loved ones, mean us absolutely no harm.

    The Dana in Pennsylvania (556f76)

  4. I hereby affirm that the better-looking Dana and I did not collaborate in any way on those two handles!

    The honest Dana (556f76)

  5. The US Government has spent many millions of dollars on facilities in Gitmo. Now we will abandon those facilities to house this prisonsers in some new SuperMax facility in Pennsylvania?

    While some community seeks out such opportunities for the money and jobs they bring in (think the Florence Colorado SuperMax facility where McVey, the Unabomber and other high profile prisoners ended up for a while)–I do not see even depressed Johnstown and Altoona welcoming this.

    I guess we should look on the bright side that John “Let’s Lynch the Haditha Marines” Murtha is up for reelection every two years.

    Joe (17aeff)

  6. Comment by The Dana in Pennsylvania — 1/21/2009 @ 6:46

    Gosh, what a great opportunity for some community organizers to get the whole state involved! Once freed, these unfairly oppressed law abiding people will need job training, counseling, re-entry help, and a heaping spoonful of HopeandChange!

    The Dana who is thankful she is not in Pennsylvania (137151)

  7. I hear Guam is nice this time of year. 😉

    My own complaints about GTMO was never one of location, but rather one of process (other than that its location being chosen to avoid process). All in all, I thought it was an ideal non-nimby location to detain duly processed terrorists and the like for the long term. I agree with the judicial rulings that GTMO’s location does not exempt it from the laws and treaties that pertain to US soil – and that was always the objection I had to GTMO.

    Bob Loblaw (6d485c)

  8. I think we should rush to oblige.

    God, what idiots these Libertards select.

    Obama, uber alles!!!! (48dd5e)

  9. “I guess we should look on the bright side that John “Let’s Lynch the Haditha Marines” Murtha is up for reelection every two years.” – Joe
    Yes, but sadly, the redneck racist in PA keep voting for the scumbag.

    PDizzle (ae87b6)

  10. Joe in comment #5 hit upon it: This is merely an attempt by Murtha — who is a big fan of earmarks and delivering pork to his district — to get a new supermax prison built. Note how the article mentions that there is only a minimum security prison in Murtha’s district, and Murtha makes his willingness to take them conditional upon getting the maximum security prison built.

    JVW (43923f)

  11. Joe in comment #5 hit upon it: This is merely an attempt by Murtha — who is a big fan of earmarks and delivering pork to his district — to get a new supermax prison built. Note how the article mentions that there is only a minimum security prison in Murtha’s district, and Murtha makes his willingness to take them conditional upon getting the maximum security prison built. I guess all those “rednecks” in his district need jobs as prison guards and cafeteria workers.

    JVW (43923f)

  12. Sorry for the double comment. It didn’t seem to have gone through the first time around.

    [Don’t worry about it. This has been one of those days when several comments from several people ended up in the filter. I’m not sure why that happens sometimes but it does. — DRJ]

    JVW (43923f)

  13. When my daughter was in Penn State @ State College last semester, I noticed with some amusement — and trepidation — that almost adjacent to Penn State was the State Pen. Perhaps this was where the Honorable Mr Murtha planned to house these misguided but brave freedom fighters.

    After all, with a huge campus full of liberals, I’m sure they’d be welcomes into peoples homes and well-treated.

    The compassionate Dana (556f76)

  14. I have contributed twice to Murtha’s opponent and the third time may be the charm. Go Big John !

    MIke K (2cf494)

  15. If he feels so charitable about it, let’s put the poor benighted souls into his home, replete with guards, dogs and barbed wire fences. After all, they’re relatively harmless.

    Dmac (eb0dd0)

  16. All this discussion of rednecks and Guantanamo get me thinking about the “meat cock sandwich” scene in Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.

    Somehow, I think Murtha would love to have been a guard in that flick.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  17. For those who are so inclined, perhaps we should take a moment to pray for the civilian prison guards who will soon be entrusted to guard these unlawful combatants.

    Kelly T. (8ef5b9)

  18. Bad news: GITMO detainees will be coming to John Murtha’s district next year.

    Good news: Hunting season starts early in 2010! 😉

    MarkJ (7fa185)

  19. Murtha works with FARC supporter Peelousi, so sure he finds nothing wrong with putting terrorists in his state. Maybe he wants to outdo Obama as a gun salesman. Keep it up. I wonder why he held this gem of a policy until after the election, though?

    eaglewingz08 (ad2cae)

  20. A question for you lawyerly types – I’m just a retiree, not a pundit and I haven’t seen this addressed anywhere. The detainees were picked up during the course of battle I assume. Were they given their Miranda rights before being detained and if not, if they are sent to the U.S., how will that affect their defense?

    Sorry if this is a stupid question – I’m just really curious.

    Thank you

    IdahoGal (3f3949)

  21. ACORN can probably help arrange no documentation no down payment home mortgages for these prisoners after they are paroled/pardoned/released whatever by Obama Administration.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  22. What real harm can they really do anywhere if they are shackled and kept locked up? Why should anyone be scared of having a bunch of scared, powerless, former terrorists. Kept under the most fortified institutions? The American spirit is not a spirit of fear.

    Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  23. Another solution: Execute them all. Then we won’t have to worry about where to keep them.

    Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  24. I used to think Murtha was an idiot but he proved me wrong on election day. His contituents are as ignorant as he claimed.

    Dennis D (ae900a)

  25. Idaho Gal,

    Plenty of the prisoners were captured in circumstances much more akin to arrest than surrender. There are also plenty whose mode of initial capture is under dispute because they were turned over to the US by Pakistani or Afghani groups for bounties. In most such cases there is no way to trace back to the individuals originally responsible for detainment. It all makes for a giant mess, made worse by the Bush admin’s attempt to use Gitmo as a legal black hole.

    It will be very interesting to see the rulings other judges reach in the habeas cases, since the only one to reach the merits has so far refused to credit the statements any of the captives made against each other without external corroberation.

    Soronel Haetir (cabedb)

  26. Emperor7,

    Once they are on American soil, how do you keep them out of the civil criminal justice system?

    If this is possible, do you really want the Government to be able to keep people in chains on American soil without recourse to the civil criminal justice system?

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  27. Comment by Machinist — 1/21/2009 @ 8:40 pm

    Whether you think it a good idea or not most of the folks at Gitmo now have access to the civil courts. I seriously doubt that Obama and the current Congress are going to make any attempt to curtail that access. And I would rather see the few high value folks put before civil courts as well, fwiw. Then throw them in the hole at the Colorado supermax until their date with a needle comes around.

    Soronel Haetir (cabedb)

  28. Once they are on American soil, how do you keep them out of the civil criminal justice system?

    Once they are on American soil, how do you keep their compatriots and sympathizers from trying to bust them out or blow up the prison so that they may achieve glorious martyrdom?

    Guam sounds good, Bob.

    Uncle Pinky (834163)

  29. If the government decides not to prosecute a detainee at GITMO, can he demand release in the US?

    Could he if he was detained in PA?

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  30. Some GTMO detainees are being held because we can’t ship them back to their home countries for various reasons. Obama has asked other countries to take in detainees, and Australia, Portugal and Germany are considering it. France and the Netherlands ruled it out. But even friends like Australia are understandably reluctant, particularly since they would not be able to legally restrict the detainees once they are released from US custody. Thus, given the legal decisions on detention and Obama’s decision to close GTMO, I think some will ultimately be released into the US.

    DRJ (345e40)

  31. Soronel Haetir What makes you think they would be convicted? We couldn’t even convict OJ with a DNA match.

    ROA (a2b711)

  32. Thank you, Gentle DRJ. This is one of my concerns. From the problems already encountered in where to send some of these people I thought this might be the case.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  33. DRJ,

    Because even BHO isn’t dumb enough to have the trials in Dearborne Michighan or any other place with large Muslim populations. Instead some nice out of the way place like Wyoming will be chosen.

    (I would have said Idaho, but there was a fairly high profile terrorism trial there shortly before I moved and that resulted in aquital (proper from what I saw of the evidence) ).

    Surely there is some federal district blind and rascist enough that the prosecution need not worry about conviction.

    Soronel Haetir (cabedb)

  34. I am less worried about acquittals than I am about cases that can’t be prosecuted or would require compromising security. I would not want these people to be able to just walk in the US. If they must be released they should be sent home.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  35. People turned in for bounties might deserve criminal type due process.

    People caught on the battlefield under arms do not.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  36. Soronel Haetir,

    I’ve wondered where jurisdiction and venue for these cases would lie — someone has undoubtedly addressed this but I haven’t researched it. In general, absent special laws or rules establishing venue, I assume the detainees would be tried in a DC-area federal court.

    DRJ (345e40)

  37. I wonder what Joe Arpaio would do with them?

    AD (517490)

  38. For starters, he’d put them in pink underwear.

    DRJ (345e40)

  39. Hey lay off Guam. They don’t want them either. Let Murtha have them.

    Joe (17aeff)

  40. Once the terrorists enter this country and face trial in civilian courts by the ‘reasonable doubt’ standard, every single one will be set free.

    If a bank robber is not ‘mirandized’ none of his confession is admissible. If there is independent evidence to convict (not tainted by his confession, i.e. where did he hide the money) the trial may continue, but often the criminal is released due to lack of such evidence.

    Since the only real evidence against the Gitmo detainees is likely their own incriminatory statements against themselves and others, and since we know they weren’t ‘mirandized’ on the battlefield, it’s almost a certainty that most will be released…to where?

    Probably many of these freed detainees will apply for and be granted asylum since it’s easy to claim that someone in their own country, i.e. Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, wants them dead.

    Now we have a situation where dozens or even hundreds of still committed jihadis, with full constitutional rights including the right to purchase firearms will be coming to shopping malls, synagogues, churches and schools (remember Beslan?) near you.

    Tailgunner (0517fa)

  41. This will bite the Dems in so many ways I lose count. If it has the unintended consequence everything else they try does, Americans will be shouting for rendition and waterboarding in a few years.

    Peg C. (48175e)

  42. Instead of sending them back to their home countries, can we put them on a boat and send them half-way back?

    The cynical Dana (3e4784)

  43. New immigration ploy: Fight against American soldiers, get yourself captured, then sent to the US for trial, get acquitted, and released in Pennsylvania. Brilliant!

    The Dana who isn't an immigration lawyer (3e4784)

  44. Of course, the real question has to be: should we refuse to take prisoners now?

    The reakistic Dana (3e4784)

  45. Or then again, should we find a Dana who can actually spell “realistic?”

    The dyslexic Dana (3e4784)

  46. I would tend to agree with Murtha here, send the terrorists to Pa. and instill them with the same rights that American citizens have, set up trials where the very worst of these idiots are known to have been water boarded, so their cases can be thrown right out the window.

    And then they can walk out into the beautiful Pa. countryside and murder a few people with orgasmic glee, and then next election….They can vote Murtha back into office yet again because apperantly the good people of PA. can take a lickin and keep on tickin.

    Good luck and may you fine folks be blessed with the hope that, whomever these zealots hurt/kill…may it be a Murtha voter.

    Drider (3b5d0f)

  47. One glorious day in the future, lawyers will be forced to the front line on all wars.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  48. I realize Murtha was once again elected – but I am beginning to question to the validity of our voting process. Can we really be sure votes are counted correctly or put aside in order to enable people like Murtha to hold office? The election in MN where they found uncounted votes is really unsettling. How do you find votes? Besides the automatic votes, when and how are absentee votes counted (if at all) since the figures are given out almost the same night.
    Too many really crooked or morally decrepit people are elected over and over – and I really have to question how and why.

    Krystal (b7da94)

  49. New immigration ploy: Fight against American soldiers, get yourself captured, then sent to the US for trial, get acquitted, and released in Pennsylvania. Brilliant!

    Comment by The Dana who isn’t an immigration lawyer — 1/22/2009 @ 4:25 am

    Damn, we are going to have every friggin Mexican shooting at us soon.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  50. To add to this, the other option other than the most logical option of military tribunals.

    Bringing these zealots to the states, which everyone knows will instill the basic rights of fellow Americans, to be tried in our courts and then found “guilty”…..it would be a travesty.

    To find these zealots guilty, evidence would have to be allowed that was aquired by stiff interrogations, names that were vital in bringing about a guilty verdict would have to remain a closely guarded secret, to protect our field agents and contacts…..hence, it would be a mockery of American justice.

    We would at that point, make our justice system a kangaroo court, where we allowed the system to ignore basic rights that fellow Americans enjoy.

    We would effectively set new precidense for the future, involving true Americans…elites at the top of the food change desire this….no doubt.

    Drider (3b5d0f)

  51. DC needs the max prison, so move them there.
    If there is a problem, all the “important” people already have max protection.

    Owlmoose (1b0bc5)

  52. Geez! Murtha gets a kickback for federally funding prisons in his state, too?

    Ah well. Once a crook (ABSCAM) always a crook.

    Icy Texan (b7d162)

  53. DC needs the max prison, so move them there.
    If there is a problem, all the “important” people already have max protection. Comment by Owlmoose — 1/22/2009 @ 6:35 am

    That would require you to build a prison around the ENTIRE CITY and then some.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  54. If St. Helena was good enough for the Corsican Corporal, then Gitmo is good enough for jihadis. Obama fails his history lessons once again.

    RickZ (472435)

  55. That would require you to build a prison around the ENTIRE CITY and then some.

    You say that like it would be a bad thing.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  56. Uhh… folks, there is already a relatively new Supermax Prison there. It’s my hometown, 169 Progress Drive, Waynesburg, PA.

    PA Redneck (272c2b)

  57. Releasing jihadi’s into the PA countryside…
    As I remember it, PA has the highest percentage of hunters of all the states.
    The highest degree of job absenteeism in PA is on the opening day of deer-season.

    AD (5bbccc)

  58. New immigration ploy: Fight against American soldiers, get yourself captured, then sent to the US for trial, get acquitted, and released in Pennsylvania. Brilliant!

    Didn’t the British order their navy to lay off pirates on the chance the pirates would claim asylum in Britain?

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  59. I live in the district next to Murtha’s, and what you’re missing is that his statement was nothing but empty rhetoric. There is only a minimum security prison in his district.

    Rockview, death row in Pennsylvania, is here in this district, about five miles down the road. I seriously doubt that our Republican Congressman is going to volunteer to house terrorists there.

    rightwingprof (fbb932)

  60. I’m sure my state (MA) will be happy to take them, especially considering past attempts by some of our legislators to classify prison units as low-income housing.

    sierra (4be1ff)

  61. […] as the administration tries to figure out what to do with the 245 prisoners still there. As others have noted, Jack Murtha has idiotically declared that his district would love to have a maximum security prison […]

    Worrisome executive moves in first days of the Obama presidency « Wellsy’s World (ea1fd5)

  62. almost adjacent to Penn State was the State Pen

    That would be Rockview, just five miles down the road. I just drove past it. That’s where Mumia will be executed, if he ever is (I suspect we’ll have to wait for a Republican Governor).

    And I will be throwing a party. Come one, come all!

    rightwingprof (fbb932)


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