President Obama is proposing shutting down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, and bringing the prisoners to locations here in the US, including the Naval brig in Berkeley County. Berkeley County Council does not want to see that happen.
Berkeley County Supervisor Bill Peagler read the resolution out loud, that says the county does not want terrorists housed here. It mentioned the detainment of Jose Padilla at the brig, and the arrest of a man who had bomb making materials and videos near the brig after Padilla’s detainment.
Peagler says the primary reason they are fighting this, “is for the protection of our community, our people, so that they won’t be exposed to those individuals brought into our community.”
Judy Ash, who lives near Moncks Corner, was at the meeting to find out what the county was doing about the problem. “I’m pleased that Berkeley County’s leadership is taking a proactive role in addressing the presidents proposal regarding this issue.”
She said she is concerned with safety. “Security. Absolutely. And I thought I heard supervisor Peagler say there’s a huge expense that would come with that, which is secondary to any security issues I believe.”
Legally, the resolution does not force anything to happen, but Peagler says he hopes it is at least considered by federal officials.
The resolution passed with a unanimous vote. Peagler says the next step in this process is, he’s going to make copies of it and send it to members of Congress.
We reached out to Senator Tim Scott’s office to discuss this issue. He sent us a statement that says in part, “No matter how hard the President wishes it wasn’t the case, transferring dozens of dangerous terrorists to any domestic location is illegal.”