Tags: obama | guantanamo | plan

Hoekstra: Obama's Gitmo Plan 'National Security Crisis'

Tuesday, 04 Aug 2009 09:25 PM

By Rick Pedraza

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U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., is very concerned about the possibility the Obama administration may move all the Guantanamo Bay terror detainees to a prison near Lake Huron in his home state of Michigan.

“This is dangerous,” Hoekstra told Newsmax.TV. “This is a national security issue.”

Hoekstra says national security should be just as important to Obama as healthcare and other issues dominating the headlines, and that putting terror suspects inside the continental United States isn’t something that should be relegated to the back pages.

“[Moving terror detainees from Guantanamo] isn’t something that should be sold to a state like Michigan as our new economic stimulus plan,” Hoekstra tells Newsmax. “[This] needs to be on the front page and we’re going to do everything we can to keep it there. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that these folks stay in Gitmo.”

See Video: Rep. Pete Hoekstra talks about fighting the shipping of Gitmo prisoners to the American heartland - Click Here Now

Hoekstra says there are a number of things Congress has successfully already done to keep the administration from moving Gitmo detainees to the continental United States, like making sure there’s no funding available in the appropriations bills this year.

But most importantly, Hoekstra would like to see public opinion mobilize against Obama’s decision to move the detainees to the United States. On his second day in office, Obama announced he would close Gitmo within a year despite “no information, no data and no team” reviewing the plan.

“When he finally did put together a team to review the edict that said Guantanamo will be closed within a year, they missed their deadline. What they’re finding out is the same thing that President Bush found out, and that others have found out: Closing Gitmo is hard and probably a bad idea.”

Hoekstra tells Newsmax that Obama’s plan to have a courtroom within whichever prison complex is chosen to house the alleged terrorists doesn’t make sense.

“Why do you need to do that in the United States? Why can’t you do that in Guantanamo?” Hoekstra asks. “We’ve got facilities specifically constructed and designed to house these folks. This work can happen in Guantanamo.”

Hoekstra would like to know why the president is so fixated on saying the detainees need to be moved to the United States.

“Do we really think the Europeans are going to think better of Guantanamo, or what we are doing with the Gitmo detainees, just by changing their zip code?” Hoekstra says. “I don’t think that’s going to make a big difference.”

Hoekstra says he’s not one for giving terror suspects more rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution than they have right now. If they do come to the United States, they could be subject to representation by the ACLU and perhaps go before a liberal judge sympathetic to their causes.

“They have access to attorneys today in Guantanamo,” Hoekstra points out. “They may or may not be members of the ACLU. Judges are already reviewing their cases. I’m not an attorney, but there is some question as to exactly what their expanded legal rights would be if we move them from Guantanamo to the United States.

“These are people many of which were picked up on the battlefield; they’ve been nothing but trouble for us as long as we’ve had them in detainment. They remain committed to Jihad. I’m not interested in providing them with additional civil liberties that normally only American citizens or people residing within the United States might have.”

Hoekstra tells Newsmax that as members from his committee traveled to Afghanistan and other locations, they observed troops on the battlefield saying it’s their responsibility to read terror suspects their Miranda rights relatively quickly.

“This may be one where there’s a disconnect between what people are saying in Washington, or telling us publicly, and what the bureaucracy is telling the people on the ground to do that are actually fighting this war in Afghanistan,” Hoekstra says. “There appear to be some inconsistencies as to exactly what’s going on, or what people think may be going on.”

See Video: Rep. Pete Hoekstra talks about fighting the shipping of Gitmo prisoners to the American heartland - Click Here Now

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