Harry Reid explains why he opposes having Guantanamo inmates transferred to American prisons:
REID: I’m saying that the United States Senate, Democrats and Republicans, do not want terrorists to be released in the United States. That’s very clear.
QUESTION: No one’s talking about releasing them. We’re talking about putting them in prison somewhere in the United States.
REID: Can’t put them in prison unless you release them.
QUESTION: Sir, are you going to clarify that a little bit? …
REID: I can’t make it any more clear than the statement I have given to you. We will never allow terrorists to be released in the United States.
I’m in awe of how spectacularly stupid this whole thing is. Prisoners hold dangerous people. We have more prisoners per capita than any other country in the world- there are plenty of places to go. We keep acting like terrorists are superhuman, we keep elevating them with stuff like this. I’m shocked that this faux-fear is still an issue and is seemingly having political consequences. As the questioner says, “No one’s talking about releasing them”, but that’s the position against which they keep arguing!
Greenwald has a good post on this subject, starting with:
The “debate” over all the bad and scary things that will happen if Obama closes Guantanamo and we then incarcerate those detainees in American prisons is so painfully stupid even by the standards of our political discourse that it’s hard to put into words
And for some evidence:
How utterly irrational is that fear? For one thing, it’s empirically disproven. Anyone with the most minimal amount of rationality would look at the fact that we have already convicted numerous alleged high-level Al Qaeda Terrorists in our civilian court system (something we’re now being told can’t be done) — including the cast of villains known as the Blind Shiekh a.k.a. Mastermind of the First World Trade Center Attack, the Shoe Bomber, the Dirty Bomber, the American Taliban, the 20th Hijacker, and many more — and are imprisoning them right now in American prisons located in various communities.