Archive for Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Prison could get Gitmo detainees

June 13, 2007


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Politicians continue to refer to the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth as the military prison of choice for detaining terrorist suspects now at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, recently introduced a bill that would close the Guantanamo prison and send the detainees to Fort Leavenworth, about 35 miles northeast of Lawrence.

"We clearly believe Fort Leavenworth is prepared to handle these prisoners. It's clearly something they are used to," said Jennifer Mullin, spokeswoman for Harkin.

The Kansas prison is the only military prison with the maximum security designation. It dates back to 1875. But the old maximum security barracks, which held more than 1,000 prisoners, are gone. They were torn down when the new disciplinary barracks opened in 2002. The new barracks hold 500 prisoners and the daily inmate population is about 450, said Janet Wray, Fort Leavenworth spokeswoman.

In early June, there were about 480 detainees at Guantanamo, according to, a public Web site that carries information about military and defense systems and issues.

Wray referred questions about whether Fort Leavenworth was preparing for Guantanamo prisoners to the Department of Army in Washington, D.C. A spokesman there would say only that there is no "course of action" on Guantanamo.

If Guantanamo closed, Mullin said not all of the prisoners would have to go to Fort Leavenworth. She said many of those prisoners could be released if federal charges were not filed.

"Restoring habeas corpus is a big part of this bill," Mullin said, referring to the legal process that safeguards against detaining someone without a legal reason. "It wouldn't be likely that all of them will be charged."

Harkin is seeking co-sponsors for his bill, which he introduced only a couple of weeks ago.

Other politicians also have talked of sending Guantanamo prisoners to Fort Leavenworth. U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., mentioned it as a possible site in March when he recommended Congress cut funding for Guantanamo.


local_support 10 years, 9 months ago

The terrorists finally show up in the heartland. Me and Fox News knew it was only a matter of time.

Christine Pennewell Davis 10 years, 9 months ago

well it is the logical place just surprised no one suggested building new prison just for the gitmo guys.

Christine Pennewell Davis 10 years, 9 months ago

local have you not heard the news? Fox does not report on the war so you just know they don't report on gitmo;)

Ragingbear 10 years, 9 months ago

They had to put them in an Uber conservative state (Ie, blind and willing to be led around wherever by the government) so they can continue to not only break constitutional laws, but international treatise as well.

Keep in mind that almost all Gitmo detainees, Including several American born citizens, have been there for years and never charged with anything. Recent Supreme Court decision told Bush that just because he was president didn't mean that the Geneva Convention and the Constitution did not apply to him.

maxcrabb 10 years, 9 months ago

ragingbear is absolutely correct. Anyone of us could be in the Gitmo.

Did you also know that a vast majority of biological and chemical weapons are stored in kansas? If there's ever a nuclear strike, you can bet we'll be targeted just as much as NORAD and D.C.

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