Friday, June 29, 2007

Western Dem news: Gov Richardson, Rep Giffords

Gov. Richardson and Rep. Giffords in Tucson last fall. DRP photo

TUCSON -- Two quick news briefs today on Western Democrats.

My favorite Dem candidate for President, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, has entered the top tier of Dem Presidential candidates.

The Washington Post also speculates that Gov. Richardson could be a choice for VP.

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) today joined more than 130 members of Congress in a call to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

In a letter to President Bush, Giffords and her colleagues wrote that the prison "has undermined America's image as the model of justice and protector of human rights around the world."

Approximately 370 prisoners are being detained and interrogated as "enemy combatants" at Guantanamo Bay. Most of the prisoners have never been charged with crimes, and none have gone on trial.

"The global war on terror cannot be won through military might alone," the lawmakers wrote. "It is a war of ideas and philosophies. A liability of our own creation, the existence of the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay is defeating our effort to ensure that the principles of freedom, justice and human rights are spread throughout the world."

Giffords, a member of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committee, is a co-sponsor of legislation to restore habeas corpus rights to Guantanamo Bay detainees. The denial of those rights is among the reasons former Secretary of State Colin Powell also recently called for closing the facility.

"Secretary of State Powell reminded us that the American judicial system knows how to handle 'bad people,'" Giffords said. "He reminded us that we cannot afford to have the world doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism. That is why I am urging the president to move quickly and close Guantanamo Bay."

Thank you, Congresswoman Giffords.

- GG section adapted from CJK

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