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Gitmo A "Perfect Place" For Terrorists

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the Guantanamo Bay detainment facility a "perfect place" for keeping terrorists, crediting the military prison with having protected America from another attack following 9/11.

He characterized President Obama's efforts to close the facility as a bid to make the United States "more popular" in Europe, and criticized the president's "arbitrary deadline" for shutting it down.

"I don't think this is a problem that needs fixing," McConnell said on Face The Nation, arguing that other countries seem hesitant to house detainees, and bringing them onto American soil would open a whole other can of worms.

"If you bring them into this country and try them, then presumably they are going to be given the protections of the Bill of Rights," McConnell said.

He promised Bob Schieffer that "We are going to try" to stop the president from closing Guantanamo.

On the possibility of confirming Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor this summer, the leader said, "What they are trying to do is insist on the shortest timeframe for someone who has the longer record."

Pointing to the judge's long trail of court decisions — by his count, 3,600 cases compared to Chief Justice John Roberts' 320 — McConnell said, "I think what we ought to do is read all the cases, read the law journal articles, work our way through this, and let the facts lead us where they may go."

While the Senate Republicans may not have enough votes to stop a confirmation, Schieffer asked whether GOP would be prepared to filibuster her nomination.

McConnell replied, "Yeah," arguing that Senate Democrats set a precedent for filibustering Supreme Court confirmations. But, he added, "It's way too early to be — I mean, the hearings haven't been held yet to determine whether or not Judge Sotomayor should be opposed."

More from Face The Nation (6.14.09):

  • McConnell: Public Health Option A "Non-Starter"
  • Durbin: Hard To Support Health Care Tax
  • Schieffer: Remembering Tim Russert
  • Read The Complete Transcript> (pdf)

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