NIMBY-ers Hope to Scuttle Gitmo Closure
TPM has a great roundup today of the escalating Republican argument that closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility could be all but impossible because — surprise! — nobody seems to want those scary terrorists in their neighborhood.
Murderers, rapists, child molesters, and even convicted terrorists like Zacarias Moussaoui who got legitimate federal court trials are okay — but some guy that was sold to U.S. authorities by an Afghan warlord and then locked up at Gitmo without charges for the past seven years? No way. What if all those locks and security guards and barbed wire and whatever else they use to secure maximum-security federal prisons fails?
Even Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who himself promised to close Gitmo if he was elected in November, is now citing the NIMBY problem, telling Fox News: “I don’t know of a state in America that wants them in their state. It’s going to — you think Yucca Mountain is a NIMBY problem? Wait till you see this one.”
Apparently, part of the fear is that terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda are going to attack the federal prisons in retaliation — what, and kill their fellow warriors and sympathizers?
It’s enough to make you miss the good old days when Republicans fought to expand federal prisons and lengthen mandatory minimum sentences to provide more jobs for their rural constituents. Maybe it’s time to consider closing Gitmo part of a new prison jobs project that could be included in the stimulus package.
Now there’s a nice bipartisan approach to reestablishing the rule of law.