Don’t, for one second, be fooled by these insincere, vicious lying-liberal-gun-grabbers…
They Want All of Your Guns!!!
As health care becomes an increasingly debated topic, it is critically important for every American to understand the impact of Obamacare. The Heritage Foundation’s newly updated “Obamacare in Pictures: Visualizing the Effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” shows through charts and graphs Obamacare’s far-reaching negative effects on all Americans.
Here are a few examples of what the chart series depicts:
- Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare. Obamacare cut $716 billion out of the Medicare program to pay for new spending in Obamacare. These cuts come from Medicare Advantage, hospice services, nursing homes, and more. Taking this money out of Medicare will have serious implications on seniors’ ability to access care. For instance, the Medicare Actuary predicts that by 2017, 50 percent of the seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage—7.4 million—will have to leave their private plans and move into traditional Medicare—which offers less generous benefits, no cap on catastrophic costs, and separate plans for drug coverage.
- 18 new taxes and penalties. Obamacare includes 18 new taxes and penalties that will cost Americans $836 billion by 2022. Many of these will fall heavily on the middle class, including the much debated individual mandate tax. Nearly 70 percent of those responsible for paying the individual mandate tax will have incomes below 400 percent of the federal poverty level, even a family of four making less than $24,600 a year in 2016 could be subject to this egregious tax.
- The states’ cost of a Medicaid expansion. The Obama Administration is pushing states to expand their Medicaid programs to the new Obamacare level. This graphic shows how much an expansion is likely to cost each state—and it certainly isn’t “free.”
- Premiums continue to rise. One of the boldest promises President Obama made when advocating his health care law was that premiums would significantly drop for American families. Thus far, that hasn’t happened. Premiums have increased by almost $2,000 for families with employer-sponsored coverage over the last two years.
- 30 million Americans will remain uninsured. Obamacare’s main provisions expand health coverage by increasing enrollment in Medicaid and offering subsidies in the new government exchanges. Despite spending $1.68 trillion on these coverage expansion provisions over the next 10 years, Obamacare leaves 30 million Americans uninsured in 2022.
by Chuck Muth
In a guest column titled “Fundamental rights must be limited,” published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal on December 26, former Nevada Attorney General George Chanos maintains that a ban on “assault weapons” is “a reasonable, necessary and appropriate limitation on our rights under the Second Amendment.”
This, of course, is in response to Adam Lanza’s horrific murder of 26 innocent people in Newtown, Connecticut – including 20 defenseless little children; defenseless because no one at the school was armed with the ability to shoot back.
Mr. Chanos, a highly regarded and extremely accomplished lawyer, wrote:
“Ultimately, the battle to ban assault weapons will end at the U.S. Supreme Court. Hopefully, the Justices will agree that even our most fundamental rights, such as those found in the Second Amendment, have certain essential and inherent limitations – limitations which are necessitated by certain equally important rights, such as the rights of a 6-year-old to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Rights that are undeniably infringed upon, at least to some extent, by allowing unfettered rights under the Second Amendment.”
Now, I’m no lawyer, but I couldn’t disagree more.
The rights of the children and adults who were killed in Newtown weren’t infringed upon by the right to BEAR arms; the rights of those people were infringed upon by the illegal USE of such weapons. Indeed, the rights of the victims to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness would have been infringed upon had they been killed by a knife, an axe, a bomb, a baseball bat or even strangulation.
It’s the act of killing which is illegal, not possessing the means of inflicting death.
Which brings me to a couple other semi-related issues, all of which are VERY touchy.
On Thursday, the body of another innocent child, 10-year-old Jade Morris, was found in the desert in North Las Vegas. The likely killer, a deranged animal named Brenda Stokes, reportedly stabbed the little girl to death on the same day she sliced up a co-worker’s face with a pair of razor blades at the Bellagio.
Should we now ban “assault knives” and “assault razor blades”?
Secondly, the Las Vegas Review-Journal also reports the suspect “wasn’t taking her Xanax prescription the day of the attack.”
So before we launch another national gun control – yes, GUN CONTROL, not “gun safety” – campaign, shouldn’t we have an honest conversation about the wisdom of allowing potentially violent people on psychoactive drugs – drugs which they can stop taking at any time without the community knowing about it – to roam freely amongst the population?
Instead of controlling gun possession, shouldn’t we be focusing more on controlling people in our society who we know are potential “walking time bombs”?
Yeah, sphincter-clenching question, right? But that’s not the real red-hot potato. Here goes…
Adam Lanza’s parents were divorced. So are/were the parents of a lot of violent criminals. Is it time, maybe, to re-evaluate the wisdom of granting automatic no-fault divorces during child-rearing years?
And I pose that question as someone whose parents divorced while my siblings and I were growing up, yet none of us has killed anyone (yet). But isn’t this a serious societal problem we should be talking more seriously and openly about?
Or if you really want to hit a raw nerve, how about a discussion on the potential ramifications of single motherhood/fatherless households?
Indeed, Wade Horn, Assistant Secretary for Children and Families for the Department of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush, noted in a Hudson Institute study that “Among long-term prison inmates, 70 percent grew up without fathers, as did 60 percent of rapists and 75 percent of adolescents charged with murder.”
Or maybe it’s time to talk about the effects on children who are being raised during the day by non-family child-care workers.
No, we do NOT want to go there, do we?
Think about it. Which is easier for our “courageous” elected leaders in Washington to do:
1.) Go to war with the pharmaceutical industry over tighter controls of psychoactive drugs?
2.) Go to war with society over possibly re-tightening our divorce laws?
3.) Re-stigmatizing out-of-wedlock births?
4.) Discouraging the outsourcing of parenthood?
5.) Or banning “assault weapons”?
Exactly. Because each and every one of us either falls into one of the first four categories or knows close friends or relatives who do – none of whom are going to go on a murderous rampage in a gun-free public school anytime in the near future.
So gun control it is!
And one final thought so I can successfully irritate just about every liberal in the country today (and a fair amount of conservatives, as well)…
Did you read about the guy in New York, William Spengler, who set a house on fire last week and ambushed the firefighters who showed up to battle the blaze, killing two of them?
Existing law, by the way, prohibited this human piece of garbage from possessing the guns he used in the shootings. So he just had a friend buy them for him. Real effective law, huh? Yeah, let’s pass some more, right?
But that’s not the point.
You see, Spengler had served 17 years in prison for killing his grandmother in 1980 – not with a gun, but by beating her to death with a hammer. Time to ban “assault hammers”?
But that’s not the point either.
The point is, we, as a society, have moved away from “take a life; lose a life.” And for those who claim, stupidly, that the death penalty is not a deterrent, allow me to point out the obvious…
Had Mr. Spengler been executed for murdering his grandmother instead of being paroled 17 relatively short years later, he absolutely, positively, without a shadow of doubt, would have been completely and totally deterred from killing those two firefighters!
Instead of coddling cold-blooded murderers in prisons at taxpayer expense, perhaps it’s time to again embrace “eye for an eye” as punishment and send a powerful message to future would-be killers?
I say yes. And we start by executing child-killer Brenda Stokes, in the most excruciatingly painful manner possible, within 24 hours after her final, expedited appeal is over…preferably by Labor Day.
And do it in public.
Beats limiting a fundamental right, wouldn’t you agree?
Cliff Notes: The Price of Politics
After months of warning Americans of the devastating economic consequences of going off the cliff, all we’ve seen from Congress is more grandstanding, more press conferences and the same sticking points we’ve known about for more than a year. Now, according to recent reports, some in Washington believe the politics of going off the fiscal cliff could be better for their own self-interests than actually finding a solution. So if going over the cliff is better than a raw deal, Americans should be asking who exactly it’s better for—them or the politicians?
WASHINGTON PUTTING POLITICS AHEAD OF THE ECONOMY
Politicans Likely To Benefit From Going Over Fiscal Cliff:
Going Off the Cliff Might Be A Good Thing – But Only For Lawmakers. “Washington’s Democratic and Republican power brokers have sent the message to the nation that going over the fiscal cliff is a worst-case scenario. But they’re not acting that way, not at all. Instead, many of them have calculated that it’s better to go over the cliff — at least temporarily — than swallow a raw deal.” (Jonathan Allen, “Why They Want to Go Over the Cliff,” Politico, 12/28/12)
Both Sides Playing The Blame Game, Acting In Own Political Self-Interests: “Both sides are playing blame-game politics, with no budget deal in sight just days before the year-end deadline. … The capital’s politicians seem wedded to acting in their own self-interest, rather than the national interest, even as we barrel toward a fiscal train wreck.” (Howard Kurtz, “Parties Resort To Finger-Pointing As U.S. Heads Over Fiscal Cliff,” The Daily Beast, 12/28/12)
Republicans Can Blame Obama For Big Tax Hike And Later Vote For “Tax Cuts.” “For many Republicans, a cliff dive means blaming President Barack Obama for a big tax hike in the short term and then voting to cut taxes for most Americans next month. That’s an easier sell back home in Republican-heavy districts than a pre-cliff deal that raises taxes on folks making over $250,000 or $400,000, extends unemployment benefits and does little if anything to curb entitlement spending. If they back a bad deal now, they run the risk of facing primary challenges in two years.” (Jonathan Allen, “Why They Want to Go Over the Cliff,” Politico, 12/28/12)
Democrats See Greater Room For Negotiating With Republicans Post-Cliff Dive. “For Democrats, the cliff is better than setting a rich man’s cutoff in the million-dollar range — or worse yet, extending the Bush tax cuts for all earners — and slashing Medicare and Social Security to appease Republicans. They, too, see an advantage in negotiating with Republicans who will feel freed from their promise not to vote to raise taxes once the rates have already gone up.” (Jonathan Allen, “Why They Want to Go Over the Cliff,” Politico, 12/28/12)
Obama Approval Rating Up, Republicans Down. Why Cave To GOP? “Obama’s polling in the mid-50s on his handling of the fiscal cliff situation, according to Gallup. Republicans are mired in the 20s. Why cave to the GOP when the president is winning?” (Jonathan Allen, “Why They Want to Go Over the Cliff,” Politico, 12/28/12)
DAYS AWAY FROM FISCAL CLIFF, WASHINGTON TWIDDLES THUMBS
Congress Playing Politics As Usual, No New Ideas To Avoid Cliff:
Days Left To Avert Cliff And Congress Shows No Urgency. “[W]ith days left before the fiscal punch lands, both sides are exhibiting little sense of urgency, and new public statements Wednesday appeared to be designed more to ensure the other side is blamed rather than to foster progress toward a deal.” (Jonathan Weisman, Jennifer Steinhauer, “Senators to Return With 5 Days Left and No Clear Fiscal Path,” New York Times, 12/26/12)
Lawmakers Revert To Old Bargaining Positions. “So, with just five days to go before some $600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts take hold, congressional leaders are hunkering down in bargaining positions back to where they were before the August break.” (Gail Russell Chaddock, “’Fiscal cliff’: Finger-pointing furiously, Congress slouches toward deadline,” Christian Science Monitor, 12/27/12)
Congress Returns From Vacation Only To Resume Gridlock. “Democrats and Republicans snarled across a partisan divide and showed no sign of compromise to avoid year-end tax increases and spending cuts.” (“Congress bickers over ‘fiscal cliff’ as Obama cuts vacation short, returns to White House,” Associated Press, 12/26/12)
WHAT ABOUT ALL WASHINGTON’S PROMISES OF COMPROMISE A MONTH AGO?
Washington Is All Talk And No Action On Bargaining:
Obama Promised “Action,” No More “Politics As Usual” After Election-Night Win. “’Tonight, you voted for action, not politics as usual,’ Obama said.” (Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey, “Obama pledges ‘not politics as usual’ in second term,” LA Times, 11/6/12)
Boehner Post-Election: There’s A “Mandate For Us To Find A Way To Work Together.” “If there’s a mandate in yesterday’s results, it’s a mandate for us to find a way to work together on solutions to the challenges we all face as a nation.”—House Speaker John Boehner (video: “John Boehner: There’s a Mandate to Work Together,” ABC News, 11/8/12)
Obama: Let’s Get A Fiscal Cliff Deal By Christmas. “’I believe that both parties can agree on a framework that does that in the coming weeks. In fact, my hope is to get this done before Christmas,’ Obama said.” (Mark Felsenthal, “President Hopes For Deficit Deal By Christmas,” Reuters, 11/28/12)
Reid: We Don’t Have To Fight. “Everything doesn’t have to be a fight. That is the way it’s been the last couple of years.”—Sen. Harry Reid (Josh Levs and Tom Cohen, “Re-elected Obama plunges into debate about deficit,” CNN, 11/8/12)
Obama: “[W]e Can’t Risk Partisan Bickering And Political Posturing.” “’The nation, as you know, is at a critical point,’ [President Obama] said. ‘At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work.’” (Josh Levs and Tom Cohen, “Re-elected Obama plunges into debate about deficit,” CNN, 11/8/12)
AMERICANS BRACING FOR THE IMPACT OF THE FISCAL CLIFF
Cash-Strapped Parents “Terrified,” Small-Business Owners Worried. “Cash-strapped parents are terrified they won’t be able to buy essential items for their children if tax credits are slashed by half. Wall Street brokers are afraid that higher taxes will lead investors to pump less money into the economy. And small-business owners worry they’ll have to cut staff and implement hiring freezes.” (“NYers brace for full impact of fiscal cliff,” New York Post, 12/28/12)
American Paychecks Set To Shrink. “After strong gains in income in November, American households will see their paychecks shrink a bit when a two-year payroll tax ‘holiday’ expires Dec. 31.” (John W. Schoen, “Consumers, businesses brace for ‘fiscal cliff’ impact,” NBC News, 12/27/12)
Going Over The Cliff Means A $3,500 Increase In Annual Taxes For The Average American. “The Tax Policy Center estimates that the combined effect of the tax hikes will raise taxes by an incredible $500bn over the next decade, which means a $3,500 increase in the yearly tax bill for the average American.” (Heidi Moore, “Fiscal cliff: what happens if Congress can’t strike a deal?” The Guardian, 12/28/12)
On Friday the White House and Congressional leaders agreed that the Senate must now act to avoid going over the fiscal cliff and that this will require a bipartisan approach. In the Weekly Republican Address, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Vice Chairman of the Republican Conference, highlights that effort and notes that lawmakers have an opportunity to kick off the New Year by working together to solve some of the big challenges facing our country today.
“Hi, I’m Senator Roy Blunt from Missouri. As we bring 2012 to a close, leaders in Washington have an opportunity to kick off the New Year by working together to solve some of the big challenges facing our country today.
“At a time when our federal debt’s topped a record $16 trillion, it’s been more than three years since the Democrat leaders in the Senate have passed a federal budget, and the Senate Majority Leader has refused to bring any appropriations bills to the floor this entire year. There’s an old saying that when you fail to plan, you plan to fail, and that’s exactly what they’ve been doing.
“Meanwhile, small businesses and farm families don’t know how to deal with the unfair death tax—a tax that the President and congressional leaders have threatened to expand to include even more family farms and even more small businesses.
“More American energy means more American jobs. But unfortunately, energy projects in the United States are being held back by federal obstacles of all kinds, and the Keystone XL Pipeline been hanging in the balance because President Obama has refused to move forward on what should have been an easy decision for more energy and more jobs.
“Republicans hope to work across the aisle to solve these and other critical challenges facing America in the New Year. Divided government is a good time to solve hard problems—and in the next few days, leaders in Washington have an important responsibility to work together and do just that.
“Unless Congress and the President act immediately, every American will be forced to pay for the largest tax hike in our nation’s history on January 1st. At the same time, the federal government—including our Armed Forces and defense workers—will undergo deep, across-the-board budgetary cuts. Remember, these are cuts that President Obama promised during the campaign would never take effect. And while we need to reduce spending, we can do it in a much smarter, more targeted way.
“Economists not representing either political party have continually warned that going over the so-called fiscal cliff will lead to devastating job losses at a time when American families and small business owners are still struggling to get back on their feet. In contrast, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that extending tax rates for all Americans would create nearly 1.8 million jobs and increase the nation’s Gross Domestic Product by almost 1.5 percent next year.
“Every American taxpayer got a tax cut in 2001, and those tax cuts were good for the economy and good for families. Congress’ action to make the first tax bracket 10 percent instead of 15 percent, double the child tax credit, and deal with the marriage penalty in the tax code made a real difference to a whole lot of American families.
“Fortunately, going over the fiscal cliff is avoidable. There’s not much time, but there’s still time to act. Both President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have claimed that an achievable plan is one that can pass both houses of Congress and Republicans agree.
“The Republican-controlled House has taken a step in the right direction. The House has already passed bills to protect all Americans from burdensome tax increases. In addition, they’ve passed legislation to replace damaging across-the-board spending cuts with responsible targeted ones, and to bring our nation’s record debt under control. But instead of working across the aisle and considering the House-passed plan to protect taxpayers, Senate Democrats have spent months drawing partisan lines in the sand.
“The President’s proposal to raise taxes on the top 2 percent of Americans won’t even pay one-third of the annual interest that’s now owed on this massive $16 trillion debt. In fact, the President’s tax hike would only fund the government for eight days. Americans deserve to know: What does the President propose we do for the other 357 days of the year?
“Inaction shouldn’t be an option. The problems facing our country are big, but they’re not necessarily all that complicated. The President will never have more political capital than he does right now, and the next few days will begin to define his second term. He was elected to lead.
“We still can avoid going over the fiscal cliff if the President and the Democrat-controlled Senate step forward this week and work with Republicans to solve this problem and solve it now.”
A photo compilation of some of the biggest news stories of 2012.
To view the photos, click here.
Another Christmas, another fiscal drama in Washington DC. Will we know what our taxes will be come 2013? Will middle class taxpayers get another reprieve from the Alternative Minimum Tax? Will the “Fiscal Cliff” trigger drastic spending cuts and maroon millions of people in an already depressed economy?
It sounds familiar because it IS familiar. This soap opera has been on the air for years, and continues to fascinate us because we live it, not just watch it. And the government has developed a nasty habit of featuring it around the holidays.
Why does this torture continue? Why, it’s because the political classes are hooked on the delightful narcotic of deficit spending, which creates the illusion that enlightenment consists of giving expensive, unaffordable and often unusable presents to the voters.
The script is complicated and full of buzzwords. But for the perplexed citizen, an easy explanation is at hand: Washington Wants To Give You A Hippopotamus for Christmas.
(Images courtesy of freeclipartnow.com)
GM has announced plans to finish a $5.5 billion buyback of stock currently owned by the U.S. Treasury ((The Wall Street Journal). The purchase is part of a larger plan to end government ownership of the auto giant within the next fifteen months.
Alas, the taxpayers are not coming out ahead on the deal. GM’s stock has languished since its initial public offering at $33 per share in 2010, and now trades in the mid $20’s. The buyback price of $27.50 represents a 7.9% premium, and bumped the price of the stock up to $27.18. The WSJ notes:
The Obama administration had been reluctant to sell its GM shares before the November election, in part because of the auto maker’s sagging stock price. It needed the stock to hit $52.39 a share to break even. Now it must sell its remaining shares at $69.72 to break even.
The skeptical mind might think at this point that breaking even is no longer on the table. Still, a deficit-plagued government can use the cash, and politicians would no doubt like to put behind them the resentment at the excesses of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. GM itself is anxious to cut the cord, as the nickname “Government Motors” has unquestionably damaged its brand. And then there is this nugget:
As part of the deal, the Treasury has immediately waived some limitations on the auto maker, such as use of private aircraft to transport executives. Mr. Ammann declined to say when or if GM will move to lease or purchase private aircraft. The inability to use private aircraft has been a sticking point with many GM executives.
As the French would say, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
In case you missed it, a D.C. federal appeals court judge ordered the Obama Administration to fulfill its promise of publishing a new rule that does not violate the plaintiffs’ (Belmont Abbey & Wheaton College) religious freedom. The government was also made to promise never to enforce the current rule which mandates contraception, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization against the plaintiffs or similar religious employers.
Religious schools claim ‘major victory’ after ruling on contraception mandate
Published December 19, 2012
Two religious-affiliated colleges claimed a “major victory” Tuesday after a federal appeals court ordered the Obama administration to verify that it is revising the so-called contraception mandate in ObamaCare.
The decision out of the D.C. Court of Appeals effectively reinstated a challenge that had been dismissed by lower courts. Wheaton College and Belmont Abbey College were arguing against the federal health care overhaul rule that requires employers to provide access to contraceptive care.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has represented several plaintiffs challenging the rule, hailed the court decision.
“The D.C. Circuit has now made it clear that government promises and press conferences are not enough to protect religious freedom,” Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund, said in a statement. “The court is not going to let the government slide by on non-binding promises to fix the problem down the road.”
The court ruling did not overturn the contraception mandate. Rather, it effectively put the court case on hold while requiring the Obama administration to follow through on its pledge to revise the mandate as it pertains to religious-affiliated groups.
“We take that as a binding commitment,” the court said in its ruling Tuesday. The court ordered the administration to file status reports every 60 days on its progress toward issuing a new policy in the first quarter of 2013.
The contraception rule does include an exemption for religious organizations — but that exemption does not cover many religious-affiliated organizations like schools and charities.
Complaints about the narrowly tailored exemption prompted a stand-off between the Obama administration and religious groups earlier this year. As a compromise, Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius decided insurers — and not the religious-affiliated organizations themselves — would be required to offer contraceptive coverage directly, supposedly without cost-sharing.
But the Becket Fund points out that the administration “has not yet taken the steps necessary to make that promise legally binding.”
The court decision Tuesday would require the Department of Health and Human Services to follow through.
The case is one of several that have continued to wend their way through the system, even after the Supreme Court upheld most of the health care overhaul over the summer.
Meanwhile, other groups have expressed concern about what the mandate will mean for their own survival. One group, The Little Sisters of the Poor, told The Daily Caller that the mandate could be a “serious threat” to the group’s U.S. mission of 300 nuns.
The organization, as a Catholic group, opposes contraception, and the concern is that the fine that could be imposed for violating the rule would impose financial hardship. “We have no extra funding that would cover these fines,” Sister Constance Carolyn Veit, spokeswoman for the organization, told the Caller.
Coalition Calls for President Obama to Keep Gitmo Open — and Keep Its Detainees Confined There
(Washington, D.C.): The Coalition for Security, Liberty and the Law – a group of military, intelligence, and security policy professionals with substantial national security experience – has sent a letter to President Obama urging him not to veto the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA) over restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States, and to instead let those restrictions stand.
The letter also notes that Guantanamo Bay is humane and uniquely secure, and that there is little evidence to suggest that the facility has played a significant role in the recruitment of terrorists to al Qaeda or affiliated organizations.
Signers of the letter (the full text of which can be found below)
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy, stated: “As President Obama has yet to withdraw from his misguided pledge to close the detention/interrogation facility at Guantanamo Bay, it is imperative that he hear from military and security experts who understand the risks to national security associated with keeping this pledge. The President should put national security before politics and allow the provisions of the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act prohibiting the transfer of Gitmo detainees into the United States to become law.”
About the Center for Security Policy
The Center for Security Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security and then ensures that such issues are the subject of both focused, principled examination and effective action by recognized policy experts, appropriate officials, opinion leaders, and the general public. For more information visit www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org.
Coalition for Security, Liberty and the Law
20 December, 2012
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As you are aware, the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2013 – the final text of which was agreed upon recently by House of Representatives and Senate Conferees, and will soon come to a vote before both bodies – contains a provision prohibiting the use of federal funds to transfer terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay to facilities inside the United States.
Our past experience as military, intelligence, and security policy professionals leads us to believe that the transfer of Guantanamo detainees into the United States would threaten national security and public safety. We therefore urge you not to veto the NDAA over this provision and instead allow it to stand.
Detainees transferred to U.S. prison facilities would turn those prisons – and nearby civilian populations – into terrorist targets. Based on past experience in Guantanamo, they would expose prison staff to unique threats, physical risks and legal liabilities. It is also likely that detainees, with help from counsel, would pressure prison officials to remove special security restrictions. If successful in such efforts, the detainees could have opportunities to radicalize the prison population – a risk previously noted by FBI Director Robert Mueller.
To the extent that detainees would receive criminal trials if transferred to the United States, such trials would entail granting due process and other rights that may force the government to choose between revealing classified evidence to secure a conviction in a U.S. court or dropping charges against dangerous terrorists.
Some have argued that Guantanamo remains a symbol of “torture”, and therefore a recruitment tool for terrorists that must be shut down. However, Guantanamo is not only a highly humane and – according to Attorney General Eric Holder – a “well-run, professional facility”, it is also uniquely secure in ways that cannot be replicated at detention facilities within the United States. Additionally, there is little evidence that Guantanamo has played a significant role in the recruitment of terrorists to al Qaeda or its affiliates.
For these reasons, we believe strongly that the detainees should not be transferred to any locale in the United States or its territories, and should instead be kept at Guantanamo Bay. The potential national and local security risks associated with transferring detainees to the United States greatly outweigh any perceived benefits for American foreign policy or national security if such closure were to take place.
Hon. Michael B. Mukasey, former Attorney General of the United States
R. James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence
Adm. Jerome L. Johnson, USN (Ret.)
Adm. James “Ace” Lyons, USN (Ret.)
Lt. Gen. E.G. “Buck” Shuler, Jr., USAF (Ret.)
Brig. Gen. William A. Bloomer, USMC (Ret.)
Brig. Gen. William Weise, USMC (Ret.)
Tidal McCoy, former Acting Secretary of the Air Force
Andrew C. McCarthy, former Chief Assistant United States Attorney
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., former Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy
Debra Burlingame, 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America
Elaine Donnelly, 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Services