Gates: Maybe 100 Guantanamo Detainees to Be Held in the United States
Cue the OH NOES. From Defense Secretary Bob Gates’ testimony on the defense budget today:
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates suggested on Thursday that as many as 100 detainees at the prison at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba would end up housed on American soil.
At a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Mr. Gates said that he has asked for $50 million in a supplemental request to this year’s Pentagon budget in case a new cell block needs to be built quickly for the detainees.
Elizabeth Bumiller of The New York Times notes that it’s by no means certain that detainees would be held in military facilities — hence the “in case” part. But it’s ludicruous to believe that a convicted terrorist is going to be able to break out of a U.S. detention facility, as proven by the successful confinement of, say, Omar Abdel Rahman or Ramzi Yousef or Timothy McVeigh. Nor have there been an appreciable increase in radicalized prison populations as the result of Rahman or Yousef’s confinement. Such concerns aren’t good arguments against denying Guantanamo detainees the rights that the Supreme Court has ruled they possess.
Still, I have a question about this line from Gates:
“What do we do with the 50 to 100 — probably in that ballpark — who we cannot release and cannot try?” Mr. Gates said.
Why couldn’t we try them? Because the evidence on them wouldn’t be admissible in court? Too torture-y?