Graham: Keep Gitmo open, hold commission trials there

Laura Ingraham start off talking tax policy with Senator Lindsey Graham, but winds up getting a big reversal on terrorist detention instead. Graham was one of the few Republicans pushing hard to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, and worked closely with the Obama White House initially to make that happen. Instead, Graham tells Ingraham, the administration bungled it so badly that “if you’d consciously said ‘how can we screw up dealing with terror suspects,’ they could not have come up with a better plan.”  Ingraham presses him on closing Gitmo, to which Graham responds, “There is no way to close Gitmo now….Gitmo is a jail with a viable courtroom; let’s start using it.”  Graham also strenuously rejects the notion of indefinite detention for KSM or anyone else, and he finally acknowledges that the location has never really been the problem anyway:

Graham also delivers a surprise for Harry Reid on the DREAM Act, apparently all five versions, as well, categorically stating that “I’m voting definitely against the DREAM Act.”  Graham had been a proponent for comprehensive immigration reform, but now says that passing any kind of policy that normalizes status ahead of securing the border invites another wave of illegal immigration.  Ingraham doesn’t let him off the hook for his past support for comprehensive reform, and Graham reiterates that he will not back any reform until border security and visa tracking has been fixed.

Graham’s not up for re-election until 2014, but it still appears that his hearing has improved considerably over the past two years.  Will he suffer a relapse after 2012?  Stay tuned.