Bachus discusses hot topics in Washington D.C.

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 6, 2005

WASHINGTON – Last week the Shelby County Reporter was able to talk with Congressman Spencer Bachus in Washington, D.C., where he shared his views on some of the controversial issues currently facing Congress. Bachus is the 6th District congressman representing Shelby County.

Q: Due to allegations of prisoner abuse, some House and Senate members have called for the military base at Guantanamo Bay to be closed. Where do you stand on this issue, and do you think that the base at Guantanamo Bay should be closed?

A: No. The truth about Guantanamo Bay is that the detainees there have been treated humanely. There has been no torture, and the requirements of the Geneva Convention have been met or exceeded. Members of the Taliban are being dealt with there.

Q: How do you feel about the recent comments made by Sen. Dick Durbin, which compared Guantanamo Bay to the Nazi death camps and Soviet gulags?

A: That is a lack of understanding and an insult to the United States and to our military. We have not killed anybody and we have not tortured anyone.

We have been disrespectful of the Koran, which should not have happened, but the parties that committed those offenses have been dealt with.

You know 234 detainees have been released and 12 have re-joined the fight against our troops in Iraq. (Guantanamo Bay) is a highly structured facility. They do interrogate the prisoners, but I can tell you that we exceed the Geneva Convention requirements.

The worst thing that could happen to a detainee there is for us to transfer them to another country.

Q: Are you in favor of developing a timetable for removing American troops from Iraq and ending the war?

A: That would be playing into the hands of foreign resistance fighters, and it will delay our ability to establish democracy. The minute they think we are there for the long haul I think they’ll basically give up.

Q: What are your feelings on the recent Supreme Court ruling

in favor of allowing city and county governments to seize land by imposing eminent domain for the use of private development?

A: I think it’s horrible. Private property rights are a cornerstone of our whole system of government, a respect for life, liberty and property.

The Supreme Court has said when it comes to property, that they can give it to someone else. It threatens all our property; but the people it threatens most are the poor and the middle class.

What is interesting is that they quoted a Michigan case in their ruling that was overruled by the Michigan Supreme Court.

Q: Eminent domain was recently threatened in Alabaster in order to build what will be the largest retail development in Shelby County. Do you foresee this ruling having an effect on similar situations in the future?

A: What happened in Shelby County is the prime example. The problem with that is that you buy the property from the person who owns it. You don’t take it.

If they don’t want to sell it then the business can go someplace else. Taking land from one person to give to another is not what our forefathers envisioned.