Pat Roberts threatens to ‘shut down the Senate’

PAT ROBERTS THREATENS TO ‘SHUT DOWN THE SENATE’…. The Washington Post reported yesterday the Obama administration is at least considering a new plan on transferring Gitmo detainees. The proposal involves transferring detainees to a facility — run by the departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security — that would “contain courtrooms to hold federal criminal trials and military commissions to prosecute terrorism suspects.”

And where might this facility be? “Officials said administration planners looking for one site for the facility have focused on the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and a state maximum-security prison in Standish, Mich., that is scheduled to be closed.”

Sen. Pat Roberts (R) isn’t happy about the possibility.

Roberts heatedly pledged to prevent detainees currently housed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to be relocated to a prison facility in his home state.

“I’ve said it once. I’ll say it many more times: Not in my back yard. Not in Kansas,” Roberts said in a press conference with Kansas reporters. “I will shut down the Senate before I’ll let that happen.”

Roberts added that housing Gitmo detainees in a maximum-security facility would make Americans “less safe.” He didn’t say why, probably because he doesn’t know.

It’s likely that Roberts doesn’t remember some of the details that emerged in the Spring, so here’s a reminder: we already have plenty of international terrorists on U.S. soil and in U.S. facilities — including the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

[T]he apocalyptic rhetoric rarely addresses this: Thirty-three international terrorists, many with ties to al-Qaeda, reside in a single federal prison in Florence, Colo., with little public notice.

Detained in the supermax facility in Colorado are Ramzi Yousef, who headed the group that carried out the first bombing of the World Trade Center in February 1993; Zacarias Moussaoui, convicted of conspiring in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001; Ahmed Ressam, of the Dec. 31, 1999, Los Angeles airport millennium attack plots; Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, conspirator in several plots, including one to assassinate President George W. Bush; and Wadih el-Hage, convicted of the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya.

Inmates in Florence and those at the maximum-security disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., rarely see other prisoners. At Leavenworth, the toughest prisoners are allowed outside their cells only one hour a day when they are moved with their legs shackled and accompanied by three guards.

Why hasn’t Roberts tried to remove these terrorists from Leavenworth? For that matter, why hasn’t he tried to shut down the Senate over this before?