Feinstein supports sending Gitmo prisoners to California
Kit Bond: Detainees would attract radicals to their location if housed in US
California’s Sen. Dianne Feinstein says she would be okay with transferring Guantanamo Bay detainees to facilities in California, so long as it’s a maximum security prison that has been set up to accommodate them.
In an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, the senior senator from California said: “I’m one who strongly believes that Guantanamo should be closed. And I believe it can be done. I’m also one that’s somewhat familiar with prison structure in the United States, and I know that there are maximum security prisons from which no one escapes … which are isolated from neighborhoods, and no one is going to put these people in anyone’s neighborhood.”
“So you’re okay with these detainees going to California?” Wallace asked.
“Yes,” Feinstein replied. “In a maximum security prison — I don’t worry about it, provided the prison is set up to accommodate it and I believe we have facilities that are.”
President Barack Obama ordered the closing of the Gitmo facility as one of his first acts as president. A White House official said on Saturday that the administration is close to making a decision on what to do with the detainees.
But recent news reports suggest the Obama administration may not meet the end-of-year deadline the president set out for the closure. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Sunday that “it’s going to be tough” to meet the deadline. Gates said he “doesn’t think it’s a problem to push back the date — as long as there’s a good plan showing progress toward closing it,” AP reported.
Sen. Kit Bond, Republican of Missouri, disagreed with Feinstein on the matter of Gitmo detainees.
“I think Guantanamo is the best place to hold these hardened criminals,” he said on Fox News Sunday. “We don’t want to put them in our general population, where they have and will radicalize other prisoners. They will draw their friends in al Qaeda to come in to the area from the outside.”
But Sen. Bond did suggest one location in the United States he would be okay with: Just off the coast of San Francisco.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing them in Alcatraz, but my California friends have a minimal amount of high enthusiasm for that,” he said.
This video is from Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast Sept. 27, 2009.