Sunday, December 27, 2009

Florida: In the Eye of the Guantanamo Storm

(Jump direct to quick links: FL members of Congress on Guantanamo.)

Florida is acutely sensitive to everything having to do with Cuba, and that includes Guantanamo. There has been intense coverage of Guantanamo by the Miami Herald.

In a speech in February, 2009, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D, 20th) applauded President Obama's plan to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, end the CIA's use of secret prisons, and order that all interrogations be conducted in accordance with the Army Field Manual, " . . . which means NO TORTURE!" said Wasserman Schultz. "This President recognizes that we need not sacrifice liberty for security. We can and must have both. He knows that our most cherished ideals of freedom and liberty are also our most powerful weapons against tyranny and terror." (more by Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz on Guantanamo)

Congressman Alan Grayson (D, 8th) also welcomed President Obama's changes to the Guantanamo system, saying, "I am particularly happy that one of President Obama’s first acts was to order a 120-day halt on all pending Guantanamo war crimes tribunal cases. Prosecutors have said it is 'in the interests of justice' to freeze the trials" pending evaluation. (more by Congressman Grayson on Guantanamo)

Congressman Kendrick Meek (D, 17th) has also called for "full, open hearings into detention facilities in the wake of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal." (more by Congressman Meek on Guantanamo)

At the same time, some of the President's erstwhile supporters have provided equivocal proposals. Congressman Alcee Hastings (D, 23rd) has made a proposal that has been dubbed "Gitmo 2.0." "If we have transparency and accountability, than you can leave Gitmo just like it is." Hastings has cited his experience as a judge dealing with problem cases, and has been quoted as saying, "we just changed what was going on inside and therefore the perception changed" and if no torture takes place at the facility, the "new Guantanamo" can open for business. (more by Congressman Hastings on Guantanamo)

Several Republic congressmen have criticized the Obama Administration's plans on Guantanamo.

Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R, 9th) said he was "outraged" that President Obama decided "to bring the terrorists being held at GITMO to American soil for prosecution in our criminal justice system." (more by Congressman Bilirakis on Guantanamo)

Congressman Thomas Rooney (R, 16th) has criticized the decision to prosecute Gitmo detainees in the United States. He has said, "As a former Army JAG officer and prosecutor I believe this decision undermines our military commission system. " (more by Congressman Rooney on Guantanamo)

PerhapsCongressman Bill Posey (R, 15th) has the right idea. Instead of telling constituents where he stands, he asks them to tell him what to think. A survey on his site asks, "TERRORIST TRIALS - The President has announced that some enemy combatant terrorists captured on the battlefield and currently at Guantanamo Bay will be granted civilian rights and given a trial in New York City. Should terrorists be brought to the U.S. and tried in civilian courts? 1. No, They should be tried in Guantanamo Bay in military tribunals. 2. Yes, They should be tried in U.S. civilian courts and tried as criminals. 3. The federal government should not give terrorists a platform to rally others to their cause. We should keep them locked up at Guantanamo Bay and out of the United States. 4. None of the Above" (more by Congressman Posey on Guantanamo)

Information on how to contact your representative, and on their Guantanamo positions, is shown below.

(Don't know who your representative is? Look him/her up by zip code here.)

(Don't know how what to say? Suggestions for getting started here.)

Bilirakis, Gus M. R9thContactOn Gitmoabove
Boyd, Allen D2ndContact
Brown, Corrine D3rdContact
Brown-Waite, Ginny R5thContact
Buchanan, Vern R13thContact
Castor, Kathy D11thContact
Crenshaw, Ander R4thContact
Diaz-Balart, Lincoln R21stContact
Diaz-Balart, MarioR25thContact
Grayson, Alan D8thContactOn Gitmoabove
Hastings, Alcee L. D23rdContactOn Gitmoabove
Klein, Ron D22ndContact
Kosmas, Suzanne M. D24thContact
Mack, Connie R14thContact
Meek, Kendrick B. D17thContactOn Gitmoabove
Mica, John L. R7thContact
Miller, Jeff R1stContact
Posey, Bill R15thContactOn Gitmoabove
Putnam, Adam H. R12thContact
Rooney, Thomas J. R16thContactOn Gitmoabove
Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana R18thContact
Stearns, Cliff R6thContact
Wasserman Schultz, Debbie D20thContactOn Gitmoabove
Wexler, Robert D19thContact
Young, C. W. Bill R10thContactOn Gitmoabove

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