- MOSQUITOES TEST POSITIVE FOR WEST NILE
- LIEBERMAN-GRAHAM AMENDMENT PASSES
- LARSON HOUSING AND EDUCATIONAL PRIORITIES APPROVED BY CONGRESS
- BLUMENTHAL REACHES DEAL WITH AT AND T
- DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ANNOUNCES TRANSPORTATION PLAN
- HARRIS SUPPORTS STANDARD WAGE VETO OVERRIDE
- SENATE PRESIDENT STATEMENT ON VETO SESSION
- CONNECTICUT TREASURER MAKES APPOINTMENTS
- LARSON LEADS PUSH FOR FUNDING
- GOVERNOR RELL SENDS LAWMAKERS COPY OF ANALYSIS
Senators Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) lauded the Senate’s adoption of their amendment expressing the sense of Congress that members of Al Qaeda and other terrorists captured on the battlefield should be tried by military commissions rather than in federal courts in towns and cities across America.
“If anyone believes we are not at war with Al Qaeda, they should review the excerpts of the combatant status review tribunal with Khalid Sheikh Mohommad (KSM),” said Graham. “KSM, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on America, made it clear he is at war with us. Our nation is engaged in a deadly conflict with a ruthless enemy. These are not common criminals who robbed a liquor store. They are warriors committed to their cause which is the destruction of our nation. When captured, they need to be tried as a military threat under the rules of military law. Military commissions, not federal district court, are appropriate venue for these trials.”
“These are terrorists who have committed heinous acts against our citizens, our country, our allies, and all standards of human decency,” Lieberman said. “This year’s National Defense Authorization Act creates a robust military commission system that surpasses the standards of fundamental fairness and due process required by our own Supreme Court and the Geneva Conventions. We have used military commissions to try war criminals throughout our nation’s history, beginning with their use by our first President, General George Washington during the Revolutionary War. We are at war today, and we should not deviate from our time-honored practice of using military commissions to prosecute violations of the laws of war.”
The Senators introduced the amendment in response to a report released Monday by a joint Department of Justice and Department of Defense Detention Policy Task Force charged with developing options for handling Guantanamo detainees. The Task Force announced the administration’s policy that “There is a presumption that, where feasible, referred case will be prosecuted in an Article III court, in keeping with traditional principles of federal prosecution.” With passage of the Lieberman-Graham amendment, the Senate has sent a strong message that there should be no such presumption. To the contrary, the Senate’s vote reflects that these terrorists are war criminals not common criminals and that they should accordingly be tried by military commission.
The House of Representatives approved funding requested by Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01) for critical housing and social services projects in the Hartford area at the Hartford Housing Authority, Mercy House and Shelter Corporation and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Hartford. The funding would allow for the renovation and revitalization of two local low-income housing facilities as well as the development of educational programs and facilities in distressed neighborhoods. The projects come as part of a broader bill that will help enact President Obama’s long term economic strategy to provide short term help to the neediest Americans and long term solutions to help improve our economy and give our youth the opportunity to succeed.
Congressman Larson said, “These vital projects will help our neighbors who have been hit hardest by the economic downturn now by providing them with a place to live and in the long run by giving their kids the tools to succeed in the future.”
The Boys and Girls Club of Hartford will receive $600,000 to establish a new presence in Hartford with a focus on decreasing neighborhood violence and giving local children new personalized educational opportunities. The funding would allow the Boys and Girls Club to renovate space for a headquarters within the SAND Community Center and give them support to expand their educational-services during after school hours.
$500,000 in funding for the Hartford Housing Authority will help provide housing for those at risk of losing theirs by attracting new tenants into the apartments at Nelton Court. The complex, built in 1947 houses 90 families in units described as “non-repairable,” requiring extensive and costly upgrades to make them livable. The less expensive plan will demolish the entire complex and replace it with approximately 80 units and a community center.
The Mercy House and Shelter Corporation will receive $500,000 to restore the 200 year-old landmark St. Elizabeth House to bring it up to code and make it usable for housing.