Several weeks ago, during the public comment portion of an Oceanside City Council meeting, a concerned citizen asked the mayor and four councilmembers to take a stand on the potential closure of the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The citizen feared some of those detainees might be moved to the Marine Corps base in Camp Pendleton, just outside Oceanside city limits.
Shortly after the meeting, councilmember Jack Feller requested the city council hear the issue at the next meeting and pledge their opposition to transferring any of the 250 detainees to Camp Pendleton.
The council heard the agenda item at the meeting on Wednesday, February 18. Councilmember Feller started off by referencing a January 22 congressional bill (HR 633) sponsored by United States House of Representatives Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon), Brian Bilbray (R-Solana Beach), and Darrell Issa (R-Vista), prohibiting the transfer or imprisonment of any alleged terrorists to Marine bases at Camp Pendleton or Miramar.
“I think the citizens deserve to be comfortable, and I believe this will be a target for possible, uh, terrorism,” said Feller. “Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of men? Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is a long way from here, but all of a sudden they would be two or three miles or five miles away from our citizens...probably not the best thing.”
“I would make a motion that we send a letter in support of our Congress representative in their efforts to keep this facility from locating here at Camp Pendleton.”
After Feller was finished, Mayor Jim Wood asked the other councilmembers if there was anyone willing to second the motion. No one spoke, but Councilmember Esther Sanchez asked to comment.
Before Sanchez started, Feller spoke once again.
“We don’t need a comment if nobody is going to second it.”
The city council then moved on to the next agenda item.