April 14th, 2010
09:04 PM ET
5 years ago

Bin Laden should go to Gitmo, Grassley says

Sens. Grassley and Cardin disccsed the Obama administration and fighting terrorism on CNN Wednesday.
Sens. Grassley and Cardin disccsed the Obama administration and fighting terrorism on CNN Wednesday.

Washington (CNN) – On the same day that senators questioned Attorney General Eric Holder about how the administration fights terrorism, a Republican senator had some advice for President Obama.

Asked about Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said the White House should use the procedures and facilities put in place by the previous president.

“I'm not a lawyer, but I think he's a terrorist just like anybody else,” Grassley said on CNN’s John King, USA. “So bring - I would bring him to Guantanamo, and I would try him in a military commission there and carry whatever out the results of the military commission is. I'd make it that simple.”

Grassley also weighed in on a frequent Republican charge against Obama – that his policies on national security and homeland security have made the nation less safe since he took office last year.

“I think this president wants to deliver on the number one responsibility of the federal government just like any president does and that's our national security. Any president has a chance to send signals that are very clear, maybe in some instances with some of these decisions, it's been a little muddier than Bush would have said, but I don't question his integrity or motivations about keeping us safe,” Grassley said.

The Republican senator added, “The president's where the buck stops but it's the responsibility of a lot of people, and all I can say is the president's got to set the atmosphere, the environment to make sure that everybody's working together, and also to send a clear signal to our enemies overseas that there's no compromise on the war on terror.”

Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland joined Grassley for a sit-down with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. Cardin praised Obama’s approach to battling terrorism.

“I think we're proud of how President Obama has defended our nation,” Cardin told King. “I think - I agree with Senator Grassley. We think that is the first responsibility. I think he's taken the necessary steps in order to protect America. And he's done something else. He's also underscored what we stand for, what our - what this nation's principles are about and he's gotten us much greater international support for our war against terror. All that makes us safer.”

And, looking ahead to November’s mid-term elections, Cardin said Democrats do not view Obama’s record on national security as a potential liability.

“So I think we have a record that we're proud to run on. But again, national security, national defense should never be a partisan issue.”

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Ellie

    Grassley can't even spell GITMO. Where has this moron been for the last 8 years? What a clown.

    April 14, 2010 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  2. Contrary Notions

    Before you continue to run your mouth about what you would do to Bin Laden, I think the objective is to find him (assuming of course that the government doesn't actually know where he is; though not likely). I'm still not understanding the argument about Obama making the nation less safe when 9/11 happened on Bush's watch. Two armed conflicts were waged on Bush's watch. And eight years of Bush went without finding or capturing Bin Laden, while spreading Al Qaeda across the Middle East.

    April 14, 2010 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  3. Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger

    In eight and a half years, nobody has caught him. Why is everyone suddenly talking about what to do with a guy we are not going to catch except by the kind of accident or lucky break that has not yet surfaced?

    April 14, 2010 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  4. bennie new york

    I've said this before, but any terrorists we capture should be treated as nothing more than thugs and tried in federal courts, and we can keep them safely locked up in a maximum security facility on our own soil.

    April 14, 2010 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  5. Dwayne

    Yeah right! Try catching him first.

    April 14, 2010 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  6. m smith

    Who keeps us safer is such a dumb statment or idea. No president wants the people not to be safe. I think the president is doing a good job here and in our standing around the world. We don't come off like a bunch of bully's like we did before. If we show that we are willing to work with other countries and leaders and it doesn't work out it only strenghtens what we have been showing the world.

    April 14, 2010 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  7. bandy

    Don't know why one would want to spend time and $$$$ to send a "dead man" to Gitmo!!!!

    April 14, 2010 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  8. Proud American

    Shouldn't we find the Idiot first?

    April 14, 2010 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  9. We Hate You Obama!

    LOL! This administration has no clue what to do about terrorism. They have backed off their original positions but can't bring themselves to re-employ Bush's so they're left in no man's land, having no alternatives to turn to. Yes we can!

    April 14, 2010 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  10. Doyle Wiley, MI

    It's easy for Grassley to say what he would do, since he don't have the power to do it.

    Grassley why not try to be a good American, which means backing the policies of America, which means backing your President. But I'm sure you don't understand that.

    April 14, 2010 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  11. Jilli

    Chuck Grassley? The man who promoted the idea of "death panels" when there was no such thing? If he's ignorant enough to do something like that, why should his opinion on serious issues really matter?

    Chuck Grassleys opinion has no more value than that of my hair stylist.

    April 14, 2010 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  12. dan smith

    Bin Laden should be shot on spot and buried as deep as possible so no one has the opportunity to make even more of a martyr of him.

    April 14, 2010 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  13. dan smith

    Obama defended our nation? Pulling missile defense from european allies and chumming up with people like hugo chavez and daniel ortega is not defending our nation or any of our allies. Signing missile reduction treaties with Russia while they're making deals with Venezuela to help them gain nuclear capabilities is not defending our nation. Obama is either totally inept or an outright traitor.

    April 14, 2010 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  14. Big Jim

    Wow! This man may be on to something! This Grassley guy is senator material for sure!

    April 14, 2010 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  15. Ken in NC

    Grassley has to be an idiot. Does this man not realize that Bin Laden is not going to be captured alive? If President Obama and AG Holder want Bin Laden in the USA they would need to endorse the idea of putting him in GITMO and then Republicans would all disagree and urge the President to bring him to the USA. Since, however, Bin Laden is not going to be taken alive this entire thought process is moot.

    We could, however, send Grassley to GITMO. Now there is an idea.

    April 14, 2010 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  16. Angry American!

    Send him to live in the White House. Maybe he can be Obama's house boy!

    April 14, 2010 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  17. JonDie

    Close Bush's Stalinist concentration camp at Guantamo...now!

    April 14, 2010 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  18. LouieD

    Thank you, CNN. Now if only you ALWAYS delivered coverage of other politicos' well-reasoned and sincerely expressed assessments of the President, instead of mostly focusing on the insane partisan ramblings of Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin.

    April 14, 2010 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  19. BeverlyNC

    Shows how ignorant Grassley is. Bin Laden will never be taken alive now. We could have captured him right after 9/11 when the Special Forces team had him trapped in a cave on the Pakistan border. Bush and Cheney told them to back off and NOT capture him. Why? Because it would have messed up their plans to fight their fraudulent war in Iraq.

    Cheney and Bush should be sent to Gitmo and have waterboarding tested out on them. If it works as well as Cheney claims maybe he will finally admit to his war crimes.

    Republicans are plain clueless and just run off at the mouth on topics they know nothing about. Just like FOX, they make it up as they go along.

    April 14, 2010 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  20. Fupped

    Why is Grassley making such a big deal about this? If he were concerned about the handling of Bin Laden than he should be after Bush/Cheney for letting Bin Laden walk free when they had him cornered. The US could have / should have administered justice when we had the opportunity. Grassley is simply vying for attention and promulgating additional rhetoric for the GOP party to chew on for this week.

    April 14, 2010 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  21. Aaron

    Too bad the know-it-alls couldn't catch the guy in 8 years and $3 trillion spending.

    April 14, 2010 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  22. Jefe

    Oh please, does anyone really believe bin Laden is still alive? Boogeyman stories do help fuel the military-industrial complex, but some of these people talk like they really do believe he's still alive. If he is, he should be brought to Johns Hopkins to be studied for his amazing survivability 9 years after any diabetes doctor who observed him would have given him 3 years tops.

    April 15, 2010 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  23. fhwilson199

    WRONG: Grassley and the entire Senate should be sent to Gitmo and indicted for trason.

    April 15, 2010 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  24. Jerry - Florida

    Note to Senator Cardin: Go ahead and run on President NObama's record (on any of his policies, national security, the economy, etc., etc., etc.) and you will be one sore looser.

    April 15, 2010 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  25. Michael from Ventura

    Will Dick Cheney and Karl Rove be joining him at Gitmo?

    April 15, 2010 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
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