Sen. Lindsey Graham called the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay “crazy bastards” during a floor speech late on Thursday, according to Politico.
“Simply stated, the American people don’t want to close Guantanamo Bay, which is an isolated, military-controlled facility, to bring these crazy bastards that want to kill us all to the United States,” said the Republican senator from South Carolina.
His comments were made during a Senate debate about the detention facility based in Cuba. Graham was arguing in favor of an amendment that would bar the government from spending money on transferring the terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay to the US.
“I want to make formal objection to the ‘crazy bastards’ standard,” said fellow Republican, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, according to The Huffington Post. “I don’t really think that if we’re going to have a crazy bastard standard that we shouldn’t have a right to trial by jury, because if we’re going to lock up all the crazy bastards, for goodness sakes, would you not want, if you’re a crazy bastard, to have a right to trial by jury?”
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On Wednesday, a study by the Government Accountability Office had reported that the 166 detainees held in Guantanamo could safely be transferred to US prisons, according to the Associated Press. The study showed that US prisons already held 373 prisoners convicted of terrorism.
However, the Senate, in defiance of a White House veto threat, voted to bar the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the US for another year, with the amendment passing 54-41, according to the New York Daily News. Ten Democratic caucus members broke ranks to support it.
Paul, who voted for the amendment barring the transfer of detainees to the US, later voted to end the indefinite detention of Americans in the United States in a separate vote.
The AP reported that a coalition of liberal Democrats and libertarian Republicans backed the amendment that said the government could not detain an American citizen or legal resident indefinitely without charge or trial even if it had the authorization to use military force or was on a war footing.
That amendment passed 67-29, and was sponsored by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Republican Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee.
Both amendments were part of a sweeping $631 billion defense policy bill, which authorizes money for weapons, ships, and aircraft.
This story was originally published by Global Post.
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