Tim Walz

Klobuchar disagrees with Walz on Guantanamo detainees

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

The Austin Post-Bulletin reported today that Senator Amy Klobuchar does not think Minnesota has the capability to house detainees from Guantanemo Bay – a stark contrast from comments made yesterday by fellow Democrat, Rep. Tim Walz.

“There is no place in Minnesota for prisoners from Guantanamo,” Klobuchar told the paper. “We do not have the high-security facilities needed to hold these detainees.” The senator voted last month to withhold funding to transfer detainees to the United States, pending a more complete plan from the Obama Administration.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Walz said that Minnesota facilities like the Federal Medical Center in Rochester have held high-level terrorists in the past and are capable of handling Guantanemo Bay detainees.

“If all the procedures are in place as they’ve been done with everyone else; if we’re very clear on what legal avenues these people have, I think our professionals there can handle it,” Walz said.

His office issued a follow-up statement later in the day.

“If the process the President has put in place deems that they be held in detention facilities in the United States, I am confident it will be done in the most secure manner.  We know, for example, that the people who work at America’s SuperMax facilities are professionals and patriots and when called on they have done their patriotic duty and held detainees securely as long as we ask them. The same goes for the professionals at the Federal Medical Center – Rochester who might be called on in the event prisoners are found to have serious health issues. The reality is we already are holding over 300 terrorists, including al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists, securely in American detention facilities,” the statement said.

Walz’ comments on Tuesday prompted the National Republican Congressional Committee to release their own statement Wednesday morning:

“By willingly accepting the idea to house dangerous terrorists in Minnesota, Tim Walz is revealing the lengths he will go to put his constituents at risk in order to provide cover for his party’s flawed proposal. How much longer will Walz continue to carry water for the Democrat’s reckless position that a majority of Americans adamantly oppose?” NRCC spokesman Paul Lindsay wrote in an e-mail.

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