Senator Diane Feinstein has commissioned a report on where the United States could house detainees from GITMO inside the U.S.
Congressman Jim Moran, who doesn’t live in Alexandria, wrote in 2009 that Alexandria, Virginia (my hometown) is ready to host GITMO detainees at whatever the cost.
By and large, Alexandrians are civic-minded people and are ready to do their duty if it serves the greater good. They have shown this public spirit time and again. The “20th hijacker,” Zacarias Moussaoui, who participated in planning the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon, was held and prosecuted in the Alexandria courthouse. Others who have been brought to justice in the court include the “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh; Beltway sniper John Allen Muhammad; and spies Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames.
In each case, Alexandria demonstrated the kind of courage and patriotism that can be traced to the city’s roots as the home town of George Washington and Robert E. Lee.
Taking the easy route and joining the chorus of those crying “not in my back yard” is appealing. But that’s not the Alexandria I know and have represented in Congress for nearly 20 years. Even before that, I served as mayor of the city, and I am confident that if asked to step forward, Alexandria would demonstrate resolve for a higher purpose, echoing John F. Kennedy’s call to accept the challenge presented because it is what happens to be right and good for our nation.
Exit question: If it comes up, would you want the GITMO detainees in Alexandria? Living across from the Federal court in Alexandria and having lived through the nightmare of the Moussaoui trial, I certainly do not.