Closing Gitmo: Not So Fast

Closing Guantanamo may not happen until 2011 -- at the earliest. There's no money to buy Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois, and funding possibilities are a long-shot and won't come up for months.

Even once the money is obtained, it will take another 8 to 10 months to turn it into a Supermax, which is a requirement before any transfers take place.

It's obvious Republicans oppose the plan, but some Democrats who support closing Gitmo are uncomfortable with the idea that Obama may hold people at Thomson indefinitely without charges.

The answer: Send them all home or to third countries, except for those against whom criminal charges are filed. Trial here or release. If the Administration only plans to charge 10 to 20 detainees, Thomson is an extravagance. The Southern District and Eastern Districts of New York are up to the task of prosecuting terror cases, as are numerous other districts (including Colorado, where Supermax is located.) Then we'd save a lot of money, Gitmo could be closed soon and there would be no indefinite detention without charges down the pike.

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    Bush's ongoing legacy. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 07:11:18 AM EST
    To me, Gitmo is a symbol of our national shame.

    Trial here or release is the only humane way to end this horrible chapter in our history.

    It is unclear to me (none / 0) (#2)
    by KeysDan on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 10:26:29 AM EST
    as to why the federal Bureau of Prisons is expected to purchase the Thomson facilitiy ($150 million), rather than the Pentagon--must be plenty of money in that pot.  And, I continue to be puzzled by the reaction that has been permitted to grow, unabated, that we can't house detainees on American soil, for security reasons (dangerous terrorists in our backyard, targets to spring terrorists, etc).  Detainees and prisoners are a consequence of war, even a "war on terror".  Of course, using Thomson or Gitmo, or any other facility to imprison detainees without trial is unconscionable. Apparently, about half of the 200 detainees at Guantanamo are Yemeni and many of those are not considered "high value".

    What a waste of time and money (none / 0) (#3)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 11:53:34 AM EST

    This is a sideshow.  Gitmo is a perfectly good new, clean, and secure facility.  If the name "Gitmo" is the issue, just change the name to the "Thomson Illinois Correctional Center Southern Annex" and get on with the real issue of what do do with the inmates.  The location issue is a sideshow wasting time, money, and focus.

    yes, we should keep our gulag... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 11:59:05 AM EST
    ...in a totalitarian nation. seems more consistent with the idea of "land of the free and home of the brave". i mean, you do understand the utterly wretched irony of running a gulag in CUBA, yes?

    do you punish your kids by taking them to a neighbor's house and whooping them there?


    Changing (none / 0) (#6)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 07:24:41 PM EST

    Changing from a GITMO in Cuba to one in Ill. does not address your concern.  The Thomson facility is already being called "Gitmo North."

    I must not have been listening (none / 0) (#5)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 02:23:12 PM EST
    I thought the problem with Gitmo was that people were being detained beyond a reasonable time period without being charged, and that there was torture being used.

    So, let's just buy a really expensive facility that is 10 times larger than necessary, and move these people who probably should really be released to a nice facility. Because that will solve the problem?