DOCUMENT: Report finds Naval Brig in Chesapeake could house Guantanamo prisoners

DOCUMENT: Report finds Naval Brig in Chesapeake could house Guantanamo prisoners

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

This image reviewed by the US military shows the guard tower at the enterance to "Camp Five" and "Camp Six" detention facilities of the Joint Detention Group at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, January 19, 2012.

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by 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on November 29, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 30 at 11:27 AM

CHESAPEAKE-- The Navy brig in Chesapeake is on a list of facilities that has room for prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, released a report Thursday that evaluates the suitability and availability of prison facilities inside the United States capable of safely and securely receiving the remaining 166 detainees currently in custody at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

The report finds the Naval Consolidated Brig in Chesapeake is one of six US facilities capable of holding those prisoners.

The report says by moving the detainees, the US could close Guantanamo without risking national security.

Senator Jim Webb (D-Va) told 13News it would be dangerous for the detainees to be moved. 

"I have consistently argued that those charged with crimes of war and who have been determined to be dangerous law-of-war detainees do not belong in our courts, our prisons or our country. While I believe military custody is appropriate for our enemies captured abroad, I have also fought to ensure that legislation authorizing military detention does not extend to United States citizens who are arrested within our borders. We must zealously guard against the erosion of our constitutionally guaranteed rights of due process," Webb said.

Governor Bob McDonnell spokesman Paul Shanks told WVEC.com, "The governor strongly opposes the detention or trial of any Guantanamo Bay detainees taking place in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Moving Guantanamo detainees to facilities in Chesapeake, or anywhere in Virginia, is not in the best interests of the citizens of Virginia."

There is no indication that Guantanamo Bay could close any time soon, if ever.

In four years as commander in chief, President Obama hasn't exhibited any such intention, despite repeated promises to do so when he first ran for President in 2008.

Shortly after being sworn in, Obama signed an executive order that required the Guantanamo prison be closed within a year.  However, that deadline passed and he still hasn't shut down the prison.

Republican lawmakers have said that Guantanamo must stay open to keep the terrorists there.

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-4th District) co-sponsored specific legislation to prohibit prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility from being transferred to federal prisons or military bases in Virginia.

Forbes said of H.R. 1186: "Our primary responsibility is to protect and defend the United States of America. Many of the terrorists at Guantanamo still have connections with terrorist organizations, raising significant security questions about moving these suspects to facilities within Virginia, especially as many of the facilities are within miles of neighborhoods, military bases, and schools. This bill is an important step in prohibiting the transfer of those detainees to the Commonwealth of Virginia."

On Thursday, lawmakers approved an amendment that would prevent the transfer of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to prisons in the United States. The vote was 54-41, with several Democrats vulnerable in the 2014 elections voting with Republicans, the Associated Press reported.

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