GOP, Military Officials Support Democratic National Security Policies

For Immediate Release:

February 25, 2010

Contact:

Katie Grant
Stephanie Lundberg
(202) 225 - 3130


Throughout the past year, many Congressional Republicans have attempted to use the politics of fear to score political points rather than focus on increasing our nation’s security. As the House prepares to consider the Intelligence Authorization bill today, the support of prominent military officers, Republicans and national security experts for Democratic policies undermines this political posturing.
 
Military Officers, Republicans Support Civilian Trials
 
Gen. Colin Powell (ret), former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
“I have no problem with [Guantanamo detainees] being tried here in the United States. We have two million people in jail. They all have lawyers. They all went before the court of law and they all got hammered. We have got three hundred terrorists who have been put in jail not by a military commission but by a regular court system.” [CBS News’ Face the Nation, 2/21/10]
 
Bob Barr, former conservative Republican Member of Congress (GA); David Keene, Chairman, American Conservative Union; and Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform:
“Civilian federal courts are the proper forum for terrorism cases. Civilian prisons are the safe, cost effective and appropriate venue to hold persons convicted in federal courts. Over the last two decades, federal courts constituted under Article III of the U.S. Constitution have proven capable of trying a wide array of terrorism cases, without sacrificing either national security or fair trial standards.” [11/18/09]
 
John Ashcroft, former Attorney General:
There are “a variety of tools that ought to be available to an administration” in its efforts to curb terrorism and bring terrorists to justice.  Asked specifically about holding civilian trials for terrorists, he said such a venue “has use and utility.” [2/19/10]
 
Key Military Support for Reading of Miranda Rights
 
Gen. David Petraeus:
“Let me just answer that question, if I could. No concerns at all [that the FBI reading of Miranda rights would inhibit intelligence collection from terror suspects]. Look, this is FBI doing what the FBI does. And there are a very limited number of cases in which this has been done. These are cases in which they are looking at potential criminal charges. And when that is done, as that is initiated, and I've been involved in that in other countries as well over the years, they understandably read Miranda rights…So we're comfortable with this.” [6/11/2009]
 
Military Officers, Republicans Support Closing Guantanamo
 
Gen. Colin Powell (ret), former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
“I think we ought to remove this incentive that exists in the presence of Guantanamo to encourage people and to give radicals an opportunity to say, you see, this is what America is all about. They're all about torture and detention centers.” [CBS News’ Face the Nation, 2/21/10]
 
Bob Barr, former conservative Republican Member of Congress (GA); David Keene, Chairman, American Conservative Union; and Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform:
“Likewise the federal prison system has proven itself fully capable of safely holding literally hundreds of convicted terrorists with no threat or danger to the surrounding community.” [11/18/09]
 
Gen. David Petraeus:
“I think that the closure in a responsible manner…sends an important message to the world, as does the commitment of the United States to observe the Geneva Convention when it comes to the treatment of detainees.” [5/24/09]
 
Sen. Lindsey Graham:
“I’m hopeful we can find a pathway forward…Four-hundred thousand German prisoners were housed in the United States during World War II. ... I just don’t buy the argument that our nation cannot deal with 250.”  [Politico, 5/22/09]
 
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates:
“[Guantanamo] has a taint…. The name itself is a condemnation.” [5/22/09]
 
Sen. John McCain:
“[T]he prison has become a symbol throughout the world no matter what the treatment is. The harsh treatment stopped a long time ago but it’s still a symbol out there.” [6/21/09]