Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., suggests sending detainees of the terrorist detention facility at soon-to-be-closed Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to the former Alcatraz Island prison facility in San Francisco Bay.
Bond, who is vice chair of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee and member of the Subcommittee on Oversight of the Terrorist Surveillance Program, says his state and nearby Leavenworth prison in Kansas want no part in housing terror suspects.
Bond’s apprehension stems from concerns confirmed Thursday when President Barack Obama signed orders to close the “Gitmo” detention center and shut down secret overseas CIA prisons, review military war crimes trials, and ban the harshest interrogation methods of suspected terrorists.
"The people in San Francisco are the ones making the big noise about it,” Bond told several reporters during a telephone conference Wednesday with KMOX News radio in St. Louis. “And if they want to bring [the detainees] to the United States, I think we ought to put them in Alcatraz and let our good friends in San Francisco deal with these deadly combatants who, in the past, when released from Guantanamo, have gone back on the battlefield to kill Americans.”
Bond, who has served four terms in the Senate but does not plan to seek reelection in 2010, fears al-Qaida, Taliban and other foreign fighters released from the much-maligned Gitmo facility will pose a threat to Americans upon their release.
“People who are complaining about Guantanamo Bay usually are focusing on the outrageous criminal acts that were committed at Abu Graib,” Bond says. “The problem with Guantanamo is, if you’re going to close it, where are you going to put those people?”
The Obama administration has yet to resolve where to put those detainees or how to prosecute them for their alleged war crimes. Initial suggestions include sending the terror suspects back to their home countries or to other federal detention centers around the country, and Bond doesn’t want them. Not at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas; and certainly not in Missouri.
The now-abandoned prison on Alcatraz Island had a reputation of being inescapable and housed the worst bloodletters and badmen the nation produced, including Al Capone.
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