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February 09, 2009

Gitmo detainees

Sen. Pat Roberts (2/5, Letters) writes that moving Guantanamo detainees to Fort Leavenworth would insert them “into our daily lives.” This is nonsense, the sort of rhetorical cant that has taken the place of political discourse in our country.

Leavenworth has long been known as precisely the sort of community that can handle the toughest and most dangerous criminals. There is nothing about the Guantanamo detainees that makes them more dangerous than the high-security population already present. These are not super-criminals who belong in some phantom zone. The danger they pose to us is not primarily physical; physical threats are readily contained. Of far greater concern is the symbolic value of their incarceration and treatment to those who would harm America.

Sen. Roberts is opposed to closing the prison at Guantanamo. Honesty requires that he state that objection plainly and not hide behind an ersatz NIMBY façade that is disrespectful of both the intelligence of his constituents and the professionalism of the prison staff at Fort Leavenworth.

Jim Abel
Leawood

It’s funny that Pat Roberts fears for our safety if we house terrorists at Fort Leavenworth, yet he is OK with putting murderers and rapists there and in neighboring Lansing.

Has he ever been to a prison or even watched a documentary on prisons? They would probably get better treatment at Guantanamo. Our good old-fashioned, American- made criminals would rip these guys to pieces.

Honestly, I couldn’t care less if they come here. In fact, I bet they are more worried about it than we are. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed doesn’t stand a chance in Leavenworth, and I feel sorry for anyone worried about them coming here.

Shaun Peterson
Lansing

Comments

Engineer

The letter writers seem not to understand there are two federal penal institutions in the Leavenworth area. One is the civilian penitentiary which is a medium security institution. It is already over crowded with several hundred more inmates than its rated capacity. The other is the Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth for military prisoners. This is the only maximum security unit operated by the Defense Department and it is a relatively small one. As I understand it, only one wing of the facility is actually rated maximum security. The total overall capacity of the institution is rated at "515 beds" and has 485 or so inmates. Only a completely clueless and uninformed individual could suggest the use of either institution.

Arminius

"Our good old-fashioned, American- made criminals would rip these guys to pieces."

Does Shaun actually believe the terrorist suspects would be placed in the general prison population?

BudRog

Listen has Gitmo been closed? Have the detainees been arraigned and given their bail hearings yet? WTF, WTH,is the delay, I mean lets get these poor "unfortunates" some dammed justice!

solomon

Roger, I don't know what to do with the detainee's but your position is pure NIMBY. Not saying bring them to Leavenworth but they have to go somewhere.

Shaun makes the best point, our prison system, heck, our county jails, could accommodate these guys.

Roger Lambert

"There is nothing about the Guantanamo detainees that makes them more dangerous than the high-security population already present. These are not super-criminals who belong in some phantom zone."


This is either dishonest or very foolish. Nobody is arguing that the prisoners themselves are unusually dangerous. The issue is what their jihadi friends might do to and around Leavenworth to either free them or make a symbolic gesture against the United States.

The are good and bad reasons to bring the prisoners to Leavenworth. But it's hard to see how it doesn't put a big target on the city if it comes to pass.

 
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