From the Campaign
BROWNLEE READY TO FIGHT OBAMA'S PLAN TO MOVE GUANTANAMO PRISONERS TO VIRGINIA
Both Former United States Attorney John Brownlee and former Attorney General Bob McDonnell have issued statements objecting to President Obama's plan to transfer some of the nearly 240 terror suspects and enemy combatants, including several 9-11 conspirators, currently housed at Guantanamo Bay to prison facilities in Virginia.
Brownlee, a candidate for Attorney General of Virginia, has also started to develop specific legal strategies to challenge these transfers if elected. Brownlee is the only prosecutor and the only military veteran currently seeking the Republican nomination for Attorney General of Virginia.
"President Obama's plan to transfer these terrorist suspects to Virginia cities, including Alexandria, poses a threat to the safety and security of our citizens." said Brownlee. "As Attorney General, I will work with Bob McDonnell, members of Congress, and other law enforcement leaders to keep these terrorists out of Virginia. President Obama should not endanger the lives of our citizens simply to keep an errant campaign promise to MoveOn.org and other liberal groups."
"As a former United States Attorney, my experience and insights into the workings of the U.S. Justice Department will be of great assistance in our fight to keep the terror suspects out of facilities in Virginia that - as Congressman Randy Forbes points out -- are 'within miles of neighborhoods, military bases and schools'."
As reported in the The Washington Post and Appomattox News, "the issue of where to house the terror suspects currently housed at Guantanamo Bay results from the Executive Order closing the facility issued by President Obama upon taking office. A senior Justice Department official recently noted that one possible destination for some detainees is the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, which has been the venue for previous high profile terrorism trials. The Courthouse is located in the city, only 190 feet from a new Westin Hotel, and close to apartment buildings, shops and restaurants. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, with 7000 employees, is only a block away."
Speaking about the possibility of Guantanamo Bay detainees being held in the middle of an historic and highly populated city in the Commonwealth, McDonnell stated, "I strongly support efforts of the U.S. Government to bring terrorists to justice in accordance with our laws; however I oppose transferring any Guantanamo Bay detainees to Virginia. The terrorists and enemy combatants currently housed 90 miles from our shores at Guantanamo Bay are some of the most dangerous men in the world. Now the federal government is considering placing some of these individuals in the middle of a busy Virginia city, just feet away from hotels, apartments, restaurants and shops. We know from the 2006 death penalty trial of Zacarias Moussaoui in Alexandria that the cost and security necessary to house suspected terrorists in the city are enormous. The trial featured unprecedented security measures and a major ongoing disruption of life for the people in the city. Thankfully no terrorist incidents occurred as a result of that trial. That is a credit to the City of Alexandria, state and federal officials, and our men and women in public safety. I hope that less risky and burdensome trial venues will be considered."
The Appomattox News reported, "The City of Alexandria strongly objects to the possibility of Guantanamo Bay detainees being moved into the community with Mayor Bill Euille telling The Washington Post recently 'We would be absolutely opposed to relocating Guantanamo prisoners to Alexandria....We would do everything in our power to lobby the president, the governor, the Congress and everyone else to stop it.' Alexandria Sheriff Dana A. Lawhorne said in the same article that such a move would be '...a very extremely high-risk situation for us.' Numerous business and community leaders have also expressed strong concerns about the cost and security problems of such an action."