WH: Move Gitmo Detainees to US So They're Treated 'The Way That American Citizens Are Treated'

By Susan Jones | February 24, 2016 | 9:49am EST
The Islamic State killer nicknamed Jihadi John beheaded American journalists James Wright Foley and Steven Sotloff in two horrifying videos released online. He was targeted and killed last year in a U.S. drone strike in Syria. (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Bringing dangerous Guantanamo Bay inmates to U.S. prisons would undermine a terrorist recuriting tool, White House spokesman Josh Earnest argued on Tuesday:

"Well, their argument would be a lot tougher, because the detention that we would have in place would be cleanly in line with American values, right? That we would ensure that this is consistent with the way that American citizens are treated.

"That certainly is more consideration than these terrorists give to their adversaries, to say the least.

"But we would be on quite strong moral ground to say that these individuals are being treated humanely, that they are -- that the conditions in which they are detained are safe, and clean and reasonable.

"And we would be taking away an important propaganda tool that we know that extremist organizations like ISIL capitalize on."

At his news conference on Tuesday, President Obama said his preferred approach to dealing with terrorists is to try them in Article III (federal) courts -- giving them the same constitutional protections enjoyed by ordinary American citizens.

Obama said military tribunals would be "an option" when enemies are detained during battle, "but our preferred option, the most effective option for dealing with individuals detained outside military theaters, must be our strong, proven federal courts."

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