This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 22, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
JAMIE COLBY, FOX NEWS GUEST HOST: Supermax -- it's where they keep the really bad boys, a federal prison in Florence, Colorado. It is home to some of the most notorious criminals in America. These are names you know, including 9/11 co-conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, Oklahoma -- I get shaken up because they're so dangerous, these guys. I can't believe they're all in the same building. Oklahoma City bombing accomplice Terry Nichols and the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski. Can you imagine, all together?
Well, the problem is, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, this particular supermax is full to capacity. They have one bad guy bed available. That's it. So if Gitmo is shut down and they transfer terrorists to this supermax, that would mean relocating less dangerous inmates to lower security facilities elsewhere in the country, maybe in neighborhoods near you.
And that is of grave concern to Colorado congressman Doug Lamborn. He represents the district where the prison is located, and he's joining me live now. Congressman, good to see you. Thank you so much.
REP. DOUG LAMBORN, R – COLO.: You're very welcome. Good to be on your show.
COLBY: I am in for Greta. And I'm glad that you're here tonight on this holiday weekend.
Congressman, let me ask you, Harry Reid agrees with you. He says U.S. jails are no place for these Gitmo detainees.
And, in fact, it seems that the Senate agrees, too, because the majority refused to fund the closing of Gitmo at this time.
So you have worked hard on this. Do you have to do any more work to make sure that these detainees do not move into your area?
LAMBORN: Absolutely. It seems like President Obama is bound and determined to bring these Gitmo detainees on to U.S. soil, which is a horrible idea for a lot of reasons.
They gain U.S. constitutional rights, which really complicates being able to convict them in a federal court because we will have to compromise intelligence sources.
It is not just that we do not want them in our backyard, we do not want them in anybody's backyard.
COLBY: That's generous.
And I want to bring this up, because we're both attorneys. The fact is it they move -- it is not just about them moving, right -- to the prisons, the supermax.
It is also about trying their cases potentially in courts on U.S. soil. If that happens, 1875, Cotton (ph) Supreme Court case, the State's Secrets doctrine, classified information might be obtained during interrogation could be released and could compromise our national security. Are you as concerned about that as having these detainee's in these supermax prisons?
LAMBORN: Absolutely. That is the first concern. When you bring them here to U.S. soil, you open up a legal Pandora's Box. But once you get them here, there are a lot of problems, also. As you very accurately said, out of 490 beds at supermax, there is only one available.
So that means you take some of the most hardened and dangerous U.S. domestic criminals and send them back to other prisons that are less secure.
Did you know that half the people at super-max are there because they killed other inmates? So you're going to send them to places that are by definition less secure than supermax. There is only one super-max.
COLBY: I just want to ask you that you bring up the very interesting point. Are these inmates allowed to congregate and spend time together? Because if you send a Gitmo detainee who did not appreciate the fact that there were locked up for this period of time and trapped.
And now they get to know that now they're in Colorado in the middle of the country now. Is there a possibility that they could either direct other inmates, because I found out today that supermax inmates often get released. It happens. Could they send them on a terror mission, planning right here on U.S. soil? Is that a real possibility?
LAMBORN: They're kept in solitary confinement 22 hours a day. But they do have limited opportunities. And they would look for ways of communicating surreptiously.
The radicalization of other inmates is a very real concern. Look at the flock that the FBI just uncovered in New York. That came about through three of the four people who were converted in the jailhouse. So jailhouse conversions is a real problem.
But there is another security problem as well, and that is to the people who guard them. There are a lot of people who work in Florence and Canyon City as correctional officers guarding these people. And you bring in even more dangerous people that maybe they had not signed up for, people like KSM, who boasted of beheading Daniel Pearl because he was Jewish, the reporter for the "Wall Street Journal."
You bring people like that who want to kill Americans any chance that they can, and they're put right here in our community. I do not want to see that happen.
COLBY: And I want to mention that even President Obama said there is no guarantee that terrorists will not attack again or that Americans will not die as a result, even if they are released from Gitmo. So he is aware of the risk.
Before let you go, because we will do this fair and balanced, we will talk to someone else, an elected official locally who disagrees with you, actually wants the detainees to come. We're going to find out why. Do your constituents agree with you?
LAMBORN: You can find a few who might think that there would be some jobs associated with it. I am very skeptical about that.
Even if there are a handful of jobs that come with it, the security risk to the whole country by bringing them on U.S. soil, plus the local risk, is not acceptable.
And everything I hear from people who live there is they do not want them in their community.
COLBY: Congressman, with your background and the committees you have served on, you bring a lot of insight to the issue, and you have contacted President Obama directly we know. And thanks for telling us. I hope you come back to Fox and tell us more as this progresses.
LAMBORN: Thank you.
COLBY: Let's go to Florence City Councilman Ron Hinkle. He has a completely different take on the Gitmo detainees. He says send them over. He is going to join us on the phone from Florence, Colorado now. Good to have you with us, councilman.
RON HINKLE, FLORENCE CITY COUNCIL (Via telephone): Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
COLBY: You heard the congressman, and he is concerned for number of reasons. First of all, that these trials could take place here, plots could be hatched. I covered that New York City terror bust this weekend. They did not only convert to Islam in prison, and we are not saying that all Muslims want to bring terror to America, but they also planned their plot to blow up synagogues and also take on military aircraft in prison, behind bars, on unrelated charges. So why are you OK with this?
HINKLE: I think there is a due process here. I think there is a need to evaluate the situation and evaluate the plan and have a plan. I do not know that there is a plan. The plan, as I see it, is very limited on the local level.
But those in move them to Florence. And I do not think --
COLBY: Do you see a difference between the Gitmo detainee's and the people that are in super-max already? Because I know you believe that jobs will be provided at Supermax is extended and these prisoners got into Supermax. And it could be a good thing for the tax base of the community or federal and state funds, whatever.
HINKLE: You could simply substitute 300 --
COLBY: Is there a difference between a Gitmo detainee and one of these Supermax prisoners? When I read the names in the beginning, I got shook up, frankly. Those are some scary guys.
HINKLE: And I do not know the general character of the Gitmo detainees other than they are classified as terrorists. I am sure there are some similarities between the two groups.
What I am trying to say is I think if you simply substitute 300 Gitmo detainees with 300 super-max current detainees, there won't necessarily be any additional jobs, because you have the same number of detainees. And as the congressman said, there is one open bed.
So there has got to be a movement of personnel. I was under the impression that most of those detainees were adjudicated through that super-max, and they would not be moved about. So I do not know if that is even possible.
If we were to build a new prison, a new facility, then obviously that would require more funds. And that would be an economic impact, more employees, et cetera. But to simply substitute 300 for 300, I don't see that that is a large economic impact.
COLBY: And they know they would not all go to one to supermax. They would go to a number. And I know that you feel that if they had to build a new prison, that could be good for infrastructure in your community. And you say a lot of your --
HINKLE: That is certainly up to the bureau of prisons, and a much higher level than what I am. What I am referring to is, I do not think the average citizen in Florence -- we are a small town of 3,000 people who live three to five miles from super-max. I do not think the average Florence citizen is too concerned. We do not carry guns. We don't --
COLBY: So from your perspective -- I'm sorry I am out of time, but it is good to hear that a lot of people, you feel, would be OK with it. They are used to supermax. There's only more person coming --
HINKLE: I don't they would be radically against it --
COLBY: I am so sorry. Councilman Hinkle, we have you on the phone, and I apologize, but we are out of time and I have to go to a break. I'm so sorry. But it is great to have you with us. Nice to meet you. Thank you so much.
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