Senator Ensign Bets the House on Guantánamo

Having just extended his agenda in Iowa by adding two events further stoking speculation of a Presidential run in 2012, Nevada's Republican Senator, John Ensign, just can't seem to keep out of the news.

Returning from a one-day visit this past Friday to the Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp, Senator Ensign tells the Las Vegas Sun in an interview that the terror suspects being held there are too dangerous to be transferred to facilities in the US. Instead Senator Ensign believes that these detainees should remain at the military detention facility until the war against terrorism ends even if these detainees are never charged with any crimes. It is fair to say that no one will ever accuse Senator Ensign of being a civil libertarian.

"They are like having Charles Manson times whatever factor - these people are so dangerous," Ensign told reporters on a conference call from Washington.

"It is permissible to hold people until the military conflict is over," Ensign said. "Does anybody think this global war on terror is over? It's not even close. If these people get out they're coming back to kill Americans."

As the Obama administration works to close the facility by early next year, Republicans and some Democrats are escalating their criticism, saying it should remain open until there is a full plan for what to do with the detainees.

The Senate next week is expected to take up Obama's request for funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that will also deal with the Guantanamo issue.

"It is hard to imagine why we would ever think about closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility," Ensign said. "I walked away very proud of what our troops are doing down there. I think any American would be proud as well."

Ensign said the facilities at Gitmo are nicer than prisons in the United States, and said the food detainees were served was better than what he and the traveling lawmakers ate.

"They get better health care than the average American citizen does," Ensign said.

The Senator would have us believe that condemning people to life in prison without ever even charging them with a crime serves the national interest. Guantánamo remains a blight on the ideals of the American Republic and on the cause of human liberty. Still it seems that if Senator Ensign wants to pursue Presidential ambitions, it is likely that he will bet the (White) house on keeping Guantánamo open.

Tags: civil liberties, Guantanamo, Senator John Ensign (all tags)



Re: Senator Ensign Bets the House on Guantnamo

Unfortunately, there are too many people inthis country who might agree with Sen. Ensign. Just think of all the times you've heard "they ought ot just build a dungeon" or "a whipping post would solve the problem" when people talk about dealing with more mundane crimes than terrorism.

by spirowasright 2009-05-17 08:10PM | 0 recs

Ensign of Guantanamo detainees:

"They get better health care than the average American citizen does," Ensign said.

But John Boehner said on CNN Sunday morning that America has the best health care delivery system in the world.

Which GOP talking point is more absurd?

by desmoinesdem 2009-05-17 08:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Oops!

Boehner was OBVIOUSLY speaking of Gitmo itself.  no incongruency here.

by lojasmo 2009-05-18 02:24AM | 0 recs
Ensign for Pres? Won't Happen!

His hair ain't presidential.

by S1 2009-05-18 03:54AM | 0 recs


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