Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Nov 5th, 2009 :: 7:01:00 to 7:10:20
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James Webb

7:00:56 to 7:01:16( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: courts in u.s. cmunities. madam president, i y floor. a senator: madam president? the presidin senatorrom ve from virginia. mr. webb: madam president, i

James Webb

7:01:00 to 7:10:20( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: James Webb

James Webb

7:01:17 to 7:01:38( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: somewhat with some regret, because i'm in contradiction with our president and many members of our own caucus, am a co-sponsor of the graham amendment. and i have no regrets about co-sponsoring the amendment. i do regret that i am in contradiction with the -- with a number of my colleagues on this side on it.

James Webb

7:01:39 to 7:01:59( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: i believe this is an appropriate amendment. i believe it is the best way for us to mov forward in terms of attempting to bring some sort of solution with respect to those who are detained in guantanamo. i would start by sayin that i have consistently argued that the appropriate venue for trying

James Webb

7:02:00 to 7:02:21( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: perpetrators of international terrorism, who are, in fact, enemy combatants, is a military tribunal. one of my primary focuses in my time in the senate is to work toward a fair criminal justice system here in the united states. as all of my colleagues know, we have an -- an enormous backlog

James Webb

7:02:22 to 7:02:42( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: in many of now our prisons are overcrowded. we have 2.38 million people in prison right now. seven million people inside the criminal justice system. the process of trying enemy combatants inur already overburdened domestic courts, on

James Webb

7:02:43 to 7:03:03( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: the one hand, is not really necessary and or the other would introduce major logjams an work against our -- and work against our goal of our criminal justice system. as someone who has served in military, has spent five years in the pentagon and is privileged to serve in this body, i would like to say that

James Webb

7:03:04 to 7:03:26( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: in my view the guantanamo bay detainee situation is challenging, it's complicated, it involves balancing an entire host of considerations, including national security, constional due process requirements, international law, procedural and practical considerations and the responsibilities and authority

James Webb

7:03:27 to 7:03:48( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: of all three branches of government. given the complicated nature of this situation, i believe it's very important for us to move forward with a careful and considered approach. these are among the considerations that we should be looking at. first, the supreme court has reviewed this issue a number of times and in several cases has

James Webb

7:03:49 to 7:04:11( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: given clear guidance on due process requirements. second, taking into consideration the supreme court's decisions, congress enacted new procedures for military tbunals. these new procedures, which were included in recently passed defense authorization bill, contain safeguards that protect

James Webb

7:04:12 to 7:04:33( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: detainees's due process an habeas rights. president obama, as a senator, took part in the creation of these new pcedures. president obama signed these new proceed news law. -- preedures into law. -- procedures into law. additionally the facilities for appropriately holding and trying dangerous detainees who are, in

James Webb

7:04:34 to 7:04:56( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: fact, enemy combatants presently exist at the cost of millions of dollars in guantanamo bay. the guantanamo debate has, in my view, improperly focused on place versus process over the past couple of years. the most important factor has been to improve the process as we examine these different

James Webb

7:04:57 to 7:05:17( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: cases, not simply whether this is guantanamo or anywhere else. removing our detainees from guantanamo to the united states is not going to solve the problem. the improved processes that we have put in place are the key factors in addressing the the people we are seeking to prosecute, i think it needs to be said again and again, are

James Webb

7:05:18 to 7:05:40( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: enemy combatants. they were apprehended during a time of war while hostilities are still ongoing prosecuting these individuals in domestic courts gives rise to a hos of problematic issues which are basically unnecessary because of the availablity now of properly

James Webb

7:05:41 to 7:06:02( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: constituted military tribunals. the problems with trying alleged detainees in domestic courts include procedural constitution constitutional and evidentiary rules in place to protect civilian criminal defendants in our country. this would require classified

James Webb

7:06:03 to 7:06:24( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: materials, could include military officers to be called from other duties, in some cases from the battlefield to testify. this could lead to the exposure of sensitive material or alternatively to the acquittal of enemy combatants who are guilty of these crimes. in the united states legal system when a defendant is

James Webb

7:06:25 to 7:06:46( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: acquitted, he goes free. in this complex scenario, it unclear what will happen in our domestic judicial system in one of tse enemy combatants is actually acquitted. this mixing of the legal and military para dimes, i believe, would confuse our criminal

James Webb

7:06:47 to 7:07:08( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: justice system without a real upside. the burden of trying enemy combatants in a domestic court is overwhelming. other people have mentioned this. there's an issue of maintaining security for the courtroom and jail facilities, the additional security burdens, the marshal service, the local police would be required, the security

James Webb

7:07:09 to 7:07:30( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: procedural complexities, tying up our crt system in a time when we need to move criminal cases forward. and i think it's very important for the understanding of this body that while this amendment only applies to six detainees at guantanamo bay, it's long past

James Webb

7:07:31 to 7:07:52( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: time that we work to reach a consensus on how and where all these detainees are going to be tried and or held. the administrationas consistently talked about three different categories of detainees. those who have been found not to be a threat to the united states and can be released and a nber

James Webb

7:07:53 to 7:08:14( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: of them have. those who are a threat and can be psecuted, which takes up most of our discussion, but, importantly, the third group is those who we have reason to believe will continue to be a threat to the united states, but we may not have sufficient admissible evidence to b them to trial. and that's the category that is

James Webb

7:08:15 to 7:08:35( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: the most troubling when we start talking about moving these detainees from guantanamo to the united states. every member of this body should be concerned with the implications of confining such individuals indefinitely inside the united states without due process. madam president, i took the time, after a number of discussions, including a long

James Webb

7:08:36 to 7:08:57( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: discussion with the president about this, to actually read the homdi case, the supreme court case that deals with the actual detention of detainees.

James Webb

7:08:58 to 7:09:19( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: there's a he coul coul conundrum, if you try these people, you're not going to try them and put them in a civilian prison, there are two processes, either as legally here in the united states they have to be given a speedy trial or, as enemy combatants, we don't have to give them a speedy trial until the end of hostilities. how do we define the end of hostilities? we're simply going to be

James Webb

7:09:20 to 7:09:41( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: importing a problem tha affects 50 people in guantanamo from guantanamo into the united states. again, it's not the place, it's the process. 10 years from now, 15 years from now, we could be saying there's an individual in a triple-max prison somewhere in illinois who's never been charged for a crime why do we need to bring that into our system in why do

James Webb

7:09:42 to 7:10:03( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: we need to bring that into our country? we have to commit ourselves to examing that issue in detail and figuring out way to move forward and i'm committed to working with the administration. i saidhis to the president in the past. and with our members of our body in deloping a -- a final trial and detention plan. but the bottom line is we're a nation at war.

James Webb

7:10:04 to 7:10:21( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: the supreme court has outlined due process rights for detainees. guantanamo bay is the appropriate facility for holding enemy belligerents, particularly since we just passed the improvements in the military commission act. and i hope that this body will think seriously about the

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