States should take in GITMO prisoners

The prisoners pose no real security risks in secure prisons.

UWIREâÄîPresident Barack ObamaâÄôs plan to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba received a major setback Wednesday when the Senate denied ObamaâÄôs request for $80 million to fund the closure. The 90-6 vote also asserted that detainees should not be transferred to United States prisons. Several senators have already taken strong stances against moving prisoners to their states. Both Democrats and Republicans seem to have an irrational fear that moving the suspected terrorists to maximum security prisons will make America less safe. This is despite the fact that there are already 347 convicted terrorists being held on United States soil, as Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin pointed out during the Senate debate. Also, American prisons would hardly be flooded with dangerous terrorists, as there are only 240 detainees being held at Guantanamo. Republicans are spreading the idea that if the suspected terrorists are acquitted they will be released into the streets, posing a threat to American citizens. During the Senate vote, Durbin also pointed out that no one has ever escaped from a federal âÄúsupermaxâÄù prison. American prisons are just as safe as Guantanamo, which makes many Republican fears unfounded. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the few Republicans in favor of closing the Cuban prison, said during the vote that the United States held 400,000 German and Japanese prisoners during World War II. âÄúThe idea that we cannot find a place to securely house 250-plus detainees within the United States is not rational. We have done this before,âÄù he said. After the abuses that occurred at Guantanamo, it is bad for AmericaâÄôs international image to keep the prison open. These detainees pose no real threat to AmericaâÄôs security, and the federal government should take responsibility for them. This editorial was originally published by The Oracle at the University of South Florida. Please send comments to [email protected]