Sunday, November 15, 2009

Illinois Prision Eyed As New Gitmo

How else should one describe it? If you're potentially closing Guantanamo Bay's terrorist detainee facility and transferring the detainees to a maximum security facility in Illinois, what exactly changes other than the name and location? The detainees are still detained, and instead of having full military supervision in a US base offshore, you're now housing these terrorists in the middle of the Continental United States.
The Obama administration may buy a near-empty prison in rural northwestern Illinois to house detainees from Guantanamo Bay along with federal inmates, a White House official said Saturday.

The maximum-security Thomson Correctional Facility, about 150 miles west of Chicago, was one of several evaluated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and emerged as a leading option to house the detainees, the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because a decision has not been made.

President Barack Obama wants alleged terrorism suspects from the controversial military-run detention center in Cuba to be transferred to U.S. soil so they can be prosecuted for their suspected crimes.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has been hinting at a possible new use for Thomson, and he issued a statement saying he would hold a news conference Sunday to outline those plans.
Why exactly is Gitmo so controversial? Well, it's a symbol of the Bush Administration's policy towards those terrorists it captured on the battlefield and by other means, and it is therefore an anathema to Bush opponents. Therefore it must be closed.

There's no real strategic or tactical reason to shutter the Gitmo facility because the detainees are quite secure there and are treated according to the rules of the Geneva Conventions despite the fact that all the detainees completely and utterly ignore the Conventions and as terrorists are singled out as an unprotected class under the Conventions.

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