Sen. Michael Bennet has switched his position following the political and constituent backlash toward the terrorist relocation plan. The fury is growing across Colorado and the Colorado Springs Gazette’s editorial board penned a piece slamming the transfer as well.
“They have to go somewhere, but Colorado is not the place. Coloradans don’t want terrorists in their backyard and that’s why there has been such an immeasurable outcry on this issue,” said Jonathan Lockwood, executive director of the non-partisan free market advocacy group Advancing Colorado. “Coloradans can see that Bennet’s voting record laid out the red carpet for terrorists to come to Colorado and that’s not what anyone wanted to see happen. His voting record and his rhetoric don’t align, so its definitely raising suspicions, people have every right to be absolutely angry.”
According to the Washington Free Beacon, government officials are “currently visiting prisons, including one medium-security facility, in Florence and Cañon City, Colo., to determine whether they could house Gitmo detainees.”
From the Washington Times:
“Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, was more open-minded. His spokeswoman told The Associated Press that he ‘wants to have a full understanding of the costs, risk and impacts for Colorado.’
Putting up more resistance was Sen. Michael Bennet, Colorado Democrat, whose spokeswoman told Fox 31 that ‘the Department of Defense has no authority to transfer these prisoners or make such modifications, and they have made no case that it makes sense to do so.’”
“Bennet saying, ‘they have made no case that it makes sense,’ is empty and basically paves the way for him to later support the transfer by saying, ‘oh, well they eventually made the case,’ so he’s essentially trying to provide room to move around on this issue. Coloradans are sick and tired of this kind of talk from politicians and they’re growing frustrated with disingenuous rhetoric,” added Lockwood.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Bennet voted against an amendment in November 2013 that would have “prohibited moving any detainee to the United States for one year.” He also voted against similar amendments in 2012 and 2009, which would have blocked funding toward transferring prisoners at Gitmo.
In May 2009, he “voiced support for withholding funding used to transfer detainees to a Supermax prison in Colorado,” but voted “to table an amendment that November that would have done so.”