Trump was talking to the Miami Herald this week when the topic of Guantanamo Bay was brought up. He revealed that he had big plans for Gitmo if he were to become president, in that he would start trying U.S. civilians in military tribunals at the prison, if they were suspected of terrorism.
There’s only one small problem with that. Under current federal law, it’s illegal to try U.S. citizens in military courts. As with most things like this, it would require an act of Congress to make this legal and the likelihood of that happening is very very low.
Trump doesn’t know. Trump doesn’t care. Which is it? Who the hell knows at this point? It’s probably a bit of both.
He actually seems interested in expanding operations at Gitmo. When asked about it in the past, he said he would “load it up with bad dudes.” He claimed that if we have “radical Islamic terrorists,” that we need a safe place to keep them.
It’s hard to understand what makes Gitmo so much more secure than any supermax prison in the mainland. Do they think that being on an island means they can’t get to America if they escape? They haven’t paid attention to Cuban refugees if that’s the case.
Asked to elaborate, Trump couldn’t really give any details that meant anything:
Well, I know that they want to try them in our regular court systems, and I don’t like that at all. I don’t like that at all. I would say they could be tried there, that would be fine.”
Again, there’s no reason to think we can’t hold prisoners securely within the U.S. or give them a vigorous prosecution. The only “fear” Republicans have is that they’ll be found innocent and they have to stop holding U.S. citizens without evidence or trial, despite any suggestions that our Constitution may otherwise have about that practice.
Featured image via Miami Herald