Congressman Steve King, a Republican from Kiron is not backing down from his comments on bringing Guantanamo Bay prisoners to an Illinois prison just across the board from Iowa, despite remarks from Democrat Congressman Bruce Braley. Braley visited the prison in Thomson, Illinois and said King’s comments were hard to take seriously because King had not visited the prison. (See related story with Braley here)
King says he fully understands the issue. “I’ve said there’s no rational or legal reasons to bring these terrorists to America. Bruce Braley hasn’t given any rational or legal reasons to bring these terrorists to America, let alone a within a short driving range from Iowa,” King says, “Not having visited a prison in Illinois doesn’t mean a person is unqualified to have an opinion. I have been to Guantanamo Bay, I serve on the judiciary committee, we have dealt with this issue of the detainees, of GITMO detainees, since the beginning of Guantanamo Bay.”
King says bringing the prisoners to the Illinois prison would not make sense. King says he’s followed the constitutionality of the issue and says congress passed legislation to try the detainees at Guantanamo Bay in tribunals set up by the courts, which provides no reason to bring them to the U.S., while he says there are many reasons not to bring them here. King says bringing the detainees to the U.S. will bring along many problems.
“Just imprisoning them in the United States will attract their families, their followers, and will be an inspiration to recruit more Al-Qaida terrorists. Many of them will be recruited in the United States and we will see a greater threat of the kinds of things that happened at Fort Hood,” King says. King says it would also set the precedent that anyone picked up on a foreign battlefield would have a right to be tried in a foreign court. King says it would also open up the possibility that Americans who were tried under the Uniform Code of Military Justice could say they should be tried in a civilian court to get a fair trial.
Congressman King and Braley also disagree on another issue. Braley, the Democrat, says the website postings that listed incorrect congressional districts for stimulus funds were human error. Braley says this is the “single most transparent stimulus funding that has ever been spent by the federal government.” He says the government went to extraordinary measures to try and upload all the information on the stimulus funding, and he says his website lists all the money received in his first district. Braley says there were some human errors in making the information available.
Braley says when you are uploading that volume of information there are bound to be some transcription errors and that is what happened. He says that is what happened when congressional districts are listed that don’t exist. Braley says you can click on the actual expenditure to get detailed information on what it was for. King, the Republican, says the information looks to be made up.
King says there’s money going to districts numbered 0-0, and districts labeled 99, while there are no states with 99 districts. He says the people who put the information could have no understanding of the system and there are reports of people putting in bigger numbers because they were told to by the White House. King says Democrats don’t want to release the true information on the stimulus funding and where it went.
King says if there was a Republican majority in the U.S. House they would be holding hearings this week to find out “what is real and what isn’t,” but he says the White House continues to stand by the information on the website. “I think it casts a real discredit on any of the credibility that comes from the White House when it comes to stimulus package numbers at a minimum,” King says. Braley made his comments in a weekly call with reporters, while King made his comments in a call with Radio Iowa.