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Senate passes measure to prevent terrorists from being brought to U.S. prisons

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 30th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The U.S. Senate has successfully passed a measure that prevents terrorists from being transferred to facilities on American soil. The passage comes straight on the heels following the discovery that a prominent Democrat commissioned a federal report to search for possible U.S. locations to house Guantanamo prisoners.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Introduced by Senator Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., the measure was approved by a vote of 54 to 41 this week. Ayotte argued that the facilities at Guantanamo Bay are "singularly equipped" to handle terrorist prisoners. He called Guantanamo "top-rate.

"The administration may want to close Guantanamo, but the American people do not want foreign terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed brought to the United States," Ayotte said.

In an exclusive, Fox News had revealed that longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, had commissioned the aforementioned report. The investigation had concluded that the option to house Guantanamo prisoners in the U.S. is viable, in spite of congressional opposition to such a plan when the Obama administration proposed it.

"This report demonstrates that if the political will exist, we could finally close Guantanamo without imperiling our national security," Feinstein said.

"The GAO report makes clear that numerous prisons exist inside the United States -- operated by both the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice-capable of holding the 166 detainees who remain at Guantanamo in an environment that meets the security requirements."

The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Feinstein in response to Ayotte said the U.S. not only can -- but has handled terrorist suspects, with 180 now languishing in super maximum prisons. Feinstein complained that the measure would erase the president's flexibility.

"I don't think the right thing to do is to tie anyone's hands," she said.

Democratic Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, said Ayotte's measure was "unwise in terms of our national security." Levin had pushed for several of the provisions on terror suspects in last year's defense bill, and also warned that the provision was certain to draw a presidential veto.

In threatening to veto the bill, the administration strongly objected to a provision restricting the president's authority to transfer terror suspects from Guantanamo to foreign countries. The provision is in current law.

The White House said the provisions were "misguided when they were enacted and should not be renewed."

Current law denies suspected terrorists, including U.S. citizens seized within the nation's borders, the right to trial and subjects them to the possibility they would be held indefinitely. It reaffirms the post-Sept. 11 authorization for the use of military force that allows indefinite detention of enemy combatants.

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