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Berkeley May Welcome Freed Guantanamo Detainees

BERKELEY (KCBS)- The Berkeley City Council plans to vote next week on a resolution inviting a few Guantanamo Bay detainees who have been cleared of wrong-doing to resettle in the East Bay city.

Of the more than three dozen detainees who’ve been cleared, Berkeley would invite two to live with local families.

Rita Maran sits on the city’s Peace and Justice Commission, which came up with the resolution. She said the idea is for Berkeley to right some wrongs by the federal government by helping people who were never tried, held for years, and in some cases tortured.

“There’s a Statue of Liberty in New York harbor and it talks about opening its doors for people who need to find refuge,” said Maran. “This is obviously the kind of reasoning that caused those words to be said, and caused this country to be a country that offers refuge, as it has over its history.”

The plan could hit a roadblock with the Pentagon. A military authorization act signed by the president last month bars the US from funding the relocation of cleared detainees.

The detainees have no passports, no visas and no money. They can’t return to their native countries for fear of harassment or torture.

Berkeley’s city manager is advising the council not to take action on the detainees, and at least one council-member is opposed to the resolution.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • Mad Mike

    Quite possibly one of the stupidest things Berkeley has done in a long list of stupid things….

    • Logical Larry

      First: Read the story, these are people CLEARED of wrong doing, yet were wrongly imprisoned. There arent ‘hordes’ just a few. It seems like some of the commentors have a guilty even if proven innocent attitude.
      Second: This Peace and Justice Commission is not the same as the city council. It is just a citizens group and the council has a requirement to vote on issues brought up by citizens group.
      Third: The City manager is against even considering the idea, and one council member has expressed opposition while no others have voiced opinions.

  • Black Eagle

    Yeah, just what Berzerkeley needs. Hordes of Islamic fundamentalists spitting on unveiled women, yelling “death to America” right along with all the angry leftists, and getting free money and all else. Americans, the left-wing hates your guts, and would be happy to see guys like the guantanamo terrorists run your police forece

    • Hardrock

      This has got to be the most hateful un-American comment I’ve read in a while. Black Eagle you should lighten up a bit.

  • CMV

    Why is the Berkeley City Council getting involved with this?
    What are these pompous idiots thinking?

  • EvilCarnivoreSteve

    This is where some angry leftist is supposed to point out Black Eagle’s spelling mistakes but instead this comment is going to agree with Mad Mike’s comment. This is a common example of the kind of counterproductive ideas we see from the Bay Area. There are people all over this country who need help many of them located right in Berkeley but that does not make much of a political statement.

    Is this about helping people or specific people? Publicity is political currency. Welcome to California.

  • John Ragsdale

    What’s happened to innocent until proven guilty…wasn’t this an American value once upon a time…

    Apparently for some it’s hate whether innocent or not. We’re in deep trouble when self styled Americans trash their own values.


    • RealityCheck

      It is not about innocent until proven guilty. It is about the City of Berkeley getting involved in things it should not. As EvilCarnivoreSteve pointed out, there are plenty of people in Berkeley who probably need some help. But is the City helping them?

      Also, things have worked out so well with “cleared” detainees. The Dictatorship of Saudi Arabia has brought many home and paid them off only to have them go right back to being active terrorists. Well so much for them being “cleared.”

  • Pistol Pete

    Berkeley has a “Peace and Justice Commission?” WHY????
    This town and it’s university are as unAmerican as you can get. Maybe instead of bringing Gitmo detainees to Berkeley the City Council should be sent to Gitmo.
    I’m sure that the other detainees will make them feel welcome.

  • teremist

    Perhaps it is time for the city council, to retire. (read RESIGN.) The business of the city council is to oversee the running of the cities’ business. This resolution is wholly outside of their pervue. I am sure there is no need to import radicals to Berkeley

  • Heather

    hahaha! I read the headline on CNN and immediately wondered what CA city it was… The possibility it was another state never even crossed my mind.

  • Jim Burnham

    Thank you Berkeley for this gesture of compassion towards innocent victims of our “War on Terror.” These men are NOT terrorists. The Bush Administration cleared the men for release from Guantanamo because they were wrongly detained in the first place. They were turned over to the U.S. for bounty, but they were innocent. They are still there because we haven’t found homes for them. Berkeley, as well as other cities in the United States, are doing the right thing by offering to help them. It’s the least we can do for ruining their lives and torturing them.

  • mike

    Jim, are you serious!!?? the radical Muslims will just LOVE Berkeley send them all to Berkeley, and let them start Sharia Law in the town.

  • CBS 5 Headlines For Thursday, February 10, 2011 « Ben's Weblog

    […] Berkeley May Welcome Freed Guantanamo Detainees […]

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