Lieberman Sides with GOP on Gitmo

Thursday, 21 May 2009 12:16 PM

By Dave Eberhart

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Sen. Joe Lieberman told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto this week that unless and until President Barack Obama formulates some responsible plan for the release of terror war detainees at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, he will oppose their release.

“This plan needs a plan,” argued Lieberman, I-Conn.

As the administration continues to wrestle with the details, Senate Democrats decided to yank $80 million from the $91 billion war spending request – dollars Obama had requested to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility by Jan. 22, 2010, according to a report by Fox News.

Independent Lieberman, who caucuses with Senate Democrats, said, “It gives the administration more time to come up with a plan. … It could be that they’re right on this one. Every once in a while, they’re right.”

Lieberman, who has been riding point on the Gitmo dilemma for some time, has teamed up with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to create legislation that would prohibit Obama from bringing suspected terrorists into America.

Graham announced this week that he and Lieberman filed a bill to force the Department of Homeland Security to maintain custody of enemy combatants ordered to be released from the military prison camp at Guantanamo.

According to a report in The Hill, however, Lieberman has remained clear that he agrees with Democrats -- that the prison should be shuttered.

“It’s probably best in terms of world opinion, although it’s operating effectively now,” he said. “It’s become a symbol and that’s unfortunate, but it’s a symbol that it’s difficult to get rid of.”

Lieberman is chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The Gitmo issue has turned into the central battle on the war spending bill – with Republicans determined to prevent detainees from ever setting foot on American soil, according to Fox News.

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