The former Presidential candidate and now Vice-Presidential hopeful is playing politics with his constituents because ultimately, pleasing John McCain comes before the Kansans he represents. Yesterday he was passionately against moving the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay to Ft. Leavenworth, perhaps to uphold the sanctity of Jayhawks or something along those lines. But because McCain is for the same thing, Brownback dutifully performs for the Republican nominee.
Yesterday, the Center for American Progress released a report advocating closing Guantanamo and relocating remaining detainees to the “Supermax” prison in Colorado or to the U.S. Military Detention Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth, KS.
Soon after, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) sent out a press release attacking the report, calling it “misleading and inaccurate.” “Fort Leavenworth has neither the space nor the security arrangements to handle detainees from Guantanamo Bay,” he said, criticizing advocates of this position:
I am disappointed that policy makers and analysts continue to talk about Fort Leavenworth as a place to house detainees without visiting the facility. In person visits will confirm why the Disciplinary Barracks do not meet the security requirements necessary to perform this mission, even if Guantanamo Bay were to close.
But an outspoken advocate of relocating Guantanamo detainees to Ft. Leavenworth is Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). In his statement, Brownback — who says he would be “honored” to be McCain’s vice president — left out any mention of McCain’s stance on the issue. McCain, in fact, has long supported relocating all Gitmo detainees to Ft. Leavenworth:
– Q: How would you fight the War on Terror differently than it’s being fought now?
McCAIN: I would probably announce the closing of Guantanamo Bay. I would move those detainees to Fort Leavenworth. I would announce we will not torture anyone. [4/29/07]
– McCAIN: I would immediately close Guantanamo Bay, move all the prisoners to Fort Leavenworth and truly expedite the judicial proceedings in their cases. [3/18/07]
But after McCain made these statements, Brownback’s office did not level similar attacks at him. In April, Brownback wrote an op-ed titled, “Don’t put detainees at Ft. Leavenworth” criticizing an article stating Ft. Leavenworth “could work” for detainees. “If the goal is improving America’s security, Ft. Leavenworth is not the solution,” he said. Not surprisingly, Brownback didn’t mention McCain in that op-ed either.
Nothing about this is surprising. Senator Brownback, along with John McCain have no principles to their names except for making sure they try and stay in office, in power and do whatever they can to obtain more power. Covering for McCain on this issue might not get him a spot on the ticket, but it definitely counts as brownie points for Senator Sam.