Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Michigan: "Keep your mitts off our mitten!"

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

I've spent a lot of time driving up and down the spine of Michigan, picking up my daughter near Petoskie and dropping her off there again. I've even seen the signs that say "Penitentiary area. Do not pick up hitchhikers." But I never thought they'd play a role in the debate on Guantanamo.

Apparently, a lot of members of Michigan's congressional delegation fear that the state can't stand up to housing Guantanamo detainees.

Congressman Dave Camp (R, 4th) has said, "these are the worst of the worst and they should continue to be held at Guantanamo Bay. As a result of this decision, these terrorists will now have all the rights of a U.S. citizen, and full access to our legal system which increases the likelihood that they will be released and free to plot another attack on our homeland" (more by Congressman Camp on Guantanamo)

Similarly, Congressman Peter Hoechstra (R, 2nd) has stressed the need for local leaders to be fully briefed if detainees are moved to their states, saying, "I absolutely believe that state leaders in places such as Michigan, Illinois and anywhere else the Obama administration may try to move terrorists detainees would benefit from full and transparent access to the threat and security information that is already known by the federal government" (more by Congressman Hoechstra on Guantanamo)

Congressman Mike Rogers (R, 8th) has has called the transfer of detainees to prisons in the U.S. a "bad gamble," saying they "do not belong in state prisons, no matter whether it is Michigan, Kansas, Illinois, or any other state. These terrorists cannot be compared to the criminals housed in our state or federal prisons; they are different and much more dangerous." (more by Congressman Rogers on Guantanamo)

Congresswoman Candice Miller (R, 10th) has supported the "Keep Terrorists Out of America Act (H.R. 2294)" which "would require the President and his administration to notify the Governor and legislature of any state to which these detainees are to brought 60 days prior to such transfer, to certify that they pose no security risk, and mandate that the Governor and legislature of that state must consent to the transfer" (more by Congresswoman Miller on Guantanamo)

But several Michigan congressman have been strong voices for an American response to Guantanamo that restores due process and civil rights.

Congressman John Conyers (D, 14th), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has introduced legislation to reverse the practices that were carried out by the Bush administration in the name of combatting terror. "[W]e have introduced a new PATRIOT Act bill that ensures our government has the power it needs to fight terrorism and defend our nation, and at the same time better protects the constitutional rights and freedoms that Americans cherish. " (more about Congressman Conyers and Guantanamo)

Congressman John Dingell (D, 15th) has voted against the Military Commissions Act because "it did not provide habeas corpus rights to detainees held by the U.S. government." He expresses support for "the new direction promoted by President Obama on civil liberties issues and supports his agenda to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility and grant more rights to foreign prisoners in American custody." (more by Congressman Dingell on Guantanamo)

In 2007, Congressman Sander Levin (D, 12th) co-sponsored the American Anti-Torture Act that "clarified that interrogation techniques that are prohibited for use by the Army Field Manual are similarly prohibited if used by the CIA or other governmental agencies. The Field Manual explicitly prohibits waterboarding, among many other forms of torture." (more by Congressman Levin 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.)

Camp, Dave R4thContactOn Gitmoabove
Conyers, John Jr.D14thContactOn Gitmoabove
Dingell, John D. D15thContactOn Gitmoabove
Ehlers, Vernon J. R3rdContactOn Gitmoabove
Hoekstra, Peter R2ndContactOn Gitmoabove
Kildee, Dale E. D5thContact
Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. D13thContact
Levin, Sander M. D12thContactOn Gitmoabove
McCotter, Thaddeus G. R11thContact
Miller, Candice S. R10thContactOn Gitmoabove
Peters, Gary C. D9thContact
Rogers, Mike R8thContactOn Gitmoabove
Schauer, Mark H. D7thContact
Stupak, Bart D1stContactOn Gitmoabove
Upton, Fred R6thContact

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