IL. Republicans To Try to Block Guantanamo Detainee Move

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is in favor of moving Guantanamo detainees to the almost empty Thomson Correctional Center, 150 miles from Chicago. (Background here.) So are local residents. It would be an economic boom to the area -- up to $1 billion over four years.

Who objects? Republicans.

House Republican Aaron Schock of Peoria plans to introduce a measure aimed at prohibiting the use of federal dollars to move the detainees to Thomson...The spokesman for Schock said House Republicans Tim Johnson, John Shimkus and Peter Roskam, all from Illinois, have agreed to sign on to the measure and efforts were ongoing to bring all seven GOP House members from Illinois on board.

If the deal goes through, it will be at least as secure as Supermax, and detainees would not be allowed to have visitors (other than legal counsel.)

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    Fraidy Cats (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by ricosuave on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 11:08:36 PM EST
    I think the republicans are genuinely frightened by these folks, because they are always guilty of believing their own BS.  They are bad men, but are they really more dangerous in prison than our own homegrown supermax residents?  

    Of course not--they are not comic book supercriminals.  But admitting that they can be safely housed in US prisons means that you have to admit that the real reason they were held in Guantanamo in the first place is because it was chosen as a legal no-man's-land, where the Bush White House decided they had free reign to do whatever they wanted.  They would rather look scared than admit that they accepted something so horribly un-American as that.

    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs? (none / 0) (#1)
    by kidneystones on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 07:33:44 PM EST
    I don't think locating convicted terrorists in economically depressed Illinois is anybody's idea of a way forward. Young people, minorities, and single mother heads of families do not dream of careers incarcerating people, worthy as that work may be. This administration has failed the poor, failed the un-skilled, and failed to provide any real help for those who rely most on Dems to get the job done. It's a complete travesty.

    First, they're not "convicted" (none / 0) (#8)
    by ChrisO on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 09:46:23 AM EST
    and second, I think you will find that in many communities with prisons a lot of the locals see a job in corrections as a pretty good option. I would like to know on what basis you come to the conclusion that none of the groups you listed aspire to these jobs.

    We incarcerate way too many people in this country, but that is a separate issue from whether people value jobs in these institutions.


    Oh, you envision a prison (none / 0) (#9)
    by kidneystones on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 07:43:35 PM EST
    housing the 'un-convicted' terrorists.

    I'm assuming that all those Dems propose to hold in the newly-minted 'not-Gitmo' have, in fact, been tried and found guilty of terrorist and other acts against the US or US citizens. I rather thought that was the entire point of the exercise.

    I've known plenty of people in the military, in the corrections field, the fire department and health services. Few choose corrections as a first choice, although some extremely highly motivated individuals do. Most of these folks are sociologists, substance-abuse volunteers, and educators.

    I see you want to have it both ways, however, and applaud the 'job boom' while condemning the appalling incarceration rate in America.

    I'll take a simpler position. KSM and his ilk are out of uniform enemy combatants who should be tried in military courts and subject to military punishments.

    Minorities, the young, and female heads of household are paying the price for failed policies that reward the rich at the expense of the poor.

    If Republicans were failing Americans this way, I expect you'd be incensed.


    The irrational fear of having (none / 0) (#2)
    by KeysDan on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 07:53:05 PM EST
    detainees on American soil  is something of a surprise to me. Not a surprise that Republicans would try to foment trouble, but surprise that the issue has achieved traction rather than being given an ear and not much more.   If we are at war, albeit a war on terror, we will as a consequence of this war, capture and detain individuals. It is our responsibility to hold detainees in secure environments on our own soil, It is an irresponsible consequence of war to look to some other country or to create our very own Devil's Island.

    The money will win (none / 0) (#3)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 08:28:31 PM EST
    The Illinois Republican party hasn't been able to get it's act together for years. You have the hard core right trying to push itself on the party as they have throughout the country. (Remember the Alan Keyes fiasco). We also have a perrenial hard line runner Oberweis.

    This is just being used to try and rally some semblence of party support and unity.

    What say Iowa? (none / 0) (#4)
    by caseyOR on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 09:32:03 PM EST
    If I am remembering my Illinois geography correctly, Thomson is on the Illinois-Iowa border. And that means the only thing standing between the good people of the Hawkeye State and the evil terrorists will be the mighty Mississippi River.

    How soon before Charles Grassley chimes in to defend the safety of Iowans from invasion via that mighty river?

    Has anyone considered the possibility that the terrorists could escape the maximum security prison, build a raft and meander down the Mississippi ala Huck Finn? That river goes all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. We would never catch them.

    (this is snark)

    It would be pretty hard... (none / 0) (#7)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 09:39:22 AM EST
    ...to get throught the locks undetected on a homemade raft.  The river is not as free and wild as it was in Huck's day.  

    Since you asked... (none / 0) (#10)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 09:47:10 PM EST
    ...here you go.

    Seems to be a bit of a disconnect between the residents and their elected officials.  Big shocker there...


    I object, and I neither live near there, (none / 0) (#6)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Nov 17, 2009 at 07:18:04 AM EST
    nor am I a Republican.

    $1B taxpayer dollars over 4 years. This is to house 200 inmates who probably have been held too long already. The facility is big enough for 1600 inmates and way OTT for the need.

    There are facilities that are built and not being used all over the country. Many are much closer to the correct size for the need and would cost taxpayers a fraction of $1B!

    Waffler on important issues best start waffling on this big favor to the Illinois pockets.