Trials for Guantánamo Detainees on U.S. Soil?

The election has been held, the results are in and America prepares for the 44th president of the United States. Whatever your politics, this is a time of transition and transformation and a time to give the president-elect and his incoming team the benefit of the doubt — hoping that perhaps they will govern more pragmatically than the manner in which they campaigned for high office.

In this context, I was stunned to read an AP article this morning that began thusly: "President-elect Obama's advisers are quietly crafting a proposal to ship dozens, if not hundreds of imprisoned terrorism suspects to the United States to face criminal trials, a plan that would make good on his promise to close the Guantánamo Bay prison but could require creation of a controversial new system of justice." And there you have it.

Let me see if I have this correctly: Obama proposes to quietly bring onto U.S. soil the very enemy combatants and other terrorism suspects detained abroad who have, as their primary mission, to kill innocent Americans? And to boot, the AP further notes: "Under plans being put together at Obama's camp, some detainees would be released and many others would be prosecuted in U.S. criminal courts."

I can only hope that I'm reading this in error and that the media will wake up and examine the AP report in greater detail.

Why would the president-elect's team be seriously considering a plan to release many of these detainees in the U.S. — the very country they sought to harm in the first place? Similarly disturbing, these men were detained for actions committed either on the battlefield or in furtherance of a terrorist action against this country; now we want to give them the very safeguards of the American legal system that they seek to destroy through acts of violence and terror?

President-elect Obama deserves congratulations for winning the election and assembling the best team to help him govern the United States during tough times here at home and abroad. Crafting a plan to release unknown enemy combatants onto our streets and into our legal system is a proposition many Americans hardly considered as a vote for positive change for our country. Instead, it could give safe passage and free license for those who have been plotting an act of terrorism the very get out of jail free card they have sought. Does anyone honestly believe one or more of these detainees wouldn't try to kill innocent civilians if given the chance? Is that change we can believe in that's worth the risk?