Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009 | 2 a.m.
President Barack Obama with the stroke of a pen last week began the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, but he opened a new debate: where to put the 245 detainees?
Since then, Republicans have been having fun chiding Democrats with suggestions.
Perhaps the bad guys should be sent to Alcatraz, off the coast of liberal San Francisco?
Sen. John McCain of Arizona, one of the few Republicans who wanted Gitmo closed, predicted the intensity of the debate ahead.
“You think Yucca Mountain is a NIMBY (not in my back yard) problem?” McCain said to interviewer Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. “Wait till you see this one.”
McCain should know. He campaigned for the presidency in Nevada on a platform of support for the nuclear waste dump 90 miles from Las Vegas, something most Nevadans oppose. He lost the state.
A spokesman for Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley, who has vowed to lie down on rail tracks to stop nuke waste from being hauled to the state, suggests the senator doesn’t understand how serious Nevadans take their opposition to Yucca.
“He thinks it’s funny that the people of Nevada don’t want the state turned into a waste dump?” Berkley spokesman David Cherry said. “The people of Nevada don’t think it’s funny. That’s why people in Nevada have always been upset at people like John McCain who are dismissive of their concerns.”