Bearing Drift ran with this supposed breaking story, claiming that Democrats in Congress, including Virginia’s Gerry Connolly and Tom Perriello, voted to bring terrorists to Virginia. Quoting an unnamed Capitol Hill source (you can’t even source and link, guys?) here’s the money quote:
Rep. Perriello just voted with Speaker Pelosi on an amendment to allow for funds to close Guantanamo Bay facility and move those detainees to Virginia. Perriello voted against an amendment, offered by Rep. Lewis of California, that would have prohibited the closure - the amendment failed 212-213 with Mr. Perriello casting the deciding vote.Now, Aznew, the Virginia Democrat, Lowell, from Blue Virginia, and Drew, from Dem Bones, have all already pointed out the various logical fallacies in this piece, not the least of which is that nowhere in this bill or the amendment does it mention anything about sending Gitmo detainees to Virginia. It simply approves money for the closing of Gitmo. According to Drew, here’s an explanation and the actual amendment that was voted down:
So, today Rep. Perriello voted against an amendment (H.Amdt 220 to HR 2847) that would have prohibited the use of funds to close down Guantanamo. Here is the actual amendment, introduced by Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA):Good for Rep. Perriello and my representative, Gerry Connolly, for voting that amendment down!An amendment numbered 118 printed in the Congressional Record to prohibit the use of funds to implement Executive Order 13492, issued January 22, 2009, titled "Review and Disposition of Individuals Detained at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and Closure of Detention Facilities".
America is built on the principle that we don’t hold people indefinitely without a trial. I have served on juries, and I can tell you that an absolute fundamental of American legal jurisprudence is that we are all “innocent until proven guilty.” Judges instruct jurors on that point all the time. Now, that doesn’t give a jury permission to acquit criminals and put them back on our streets. But it means that in America every man and woman is entitled to a fair trial. It’s who we are. We don’t keep people in prisons without their day in court. Communists, Nazis, and fascists do that. We don’t.
So, if Gerry Connolly, who I am proud to say is my congressman, and Tom Perriello, from the 5th CD, voted against an amendment that would have kept Gitmo opened, I applaud them for displaying true American values. And for having the moral courage to not buckle under to conservative political hacks who use fear to win elections.
But none of this is why I am outraged. Here’s why.
Let’s concede for a moment that because of their votes, some detainees would be brought to America, and even to Virginia. Do the BD bloggers and other conservatives really believe that America’s law enforcement community - its guards, its police - would fail to keep us safe?
Here’s where it gets personal and why I am outraged. My cousin’s husband is a prison guard in South Florida. As such, he has guarded some of the most dangerous criminals in the Miami-Dade and Broward region, including members of the infamous Columbian Medellin drug cartel. So, do you really think he’s not up to the job of guarding some of the detainees and that South Florida would be less safe if they were in his care? I don’t.
But I do believe that the fear mongering in that diary is an insult to him and to his fellow prison guards who work in maximum security penal facilities throughout the nation. These are brave men and women who have guarded some of our most dangerous criminals, including the Oklahoma bombers Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols; Ted Kaczynski; and criminals like Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, and members of the Crips, the Bloods, and MS-13.
However, BD and other conservative bloggers, taking their talking points, robot-like, from the Republican Party Central, have a shocking disdain for all civil servants. It is rooted in their anti-government ideology and rhetoric. But believe it or not, the government in a representative democracy is us. It is “we the people.” Sometimes your side or my side loses an election. But there’s always the next one. We are governed by those who win elections. To disdain them is to disdain America and its choices. To disdain our civil servants is to disdain our neighbors, friends, and relatives, many of whom work tirelessly to fight our fires, keep our streets safe, and guard our prisons. To insult them to score cheap political points is to put party before country. And that is unpatriotic.
The disdainful Republican bloggers owe America’s law enforcement community - especially its prison guards - an apology. They owe America an apology for their unpatriotic disdain and the cheap shot they just took.