Tag: Thomson Correctional Center
Spain, which already agreed to accept two Guantanamo detainees, has agreed to take another three who have been cleared for release.
There are 192 detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay. Approximately 110 have been cleared for resettlement in a third country or for repatriation.
So that leaves 82 detainees not cleared for release: 5 of them are the 9/11 defendants and 5 have been designated for military tribunals. 72 of them are unlikely to be charged at all. We just don't like the idea of letting them go.
For 82 detainees, we are going to spend $237 million to retrofit Thomson or $100 million a year to continue to operate Guantanamo? [More...]
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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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Earlier we reported on President Obama's decision to move the Guantanamo detainees to Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois.
So those going to Thomson will be those tried by military commissions -- and those who, like at Gitmo, are being held indefinitely without charges or trials. (The others will be released to their home or other countries.)
Is this any more than a change in zip code? The ACLU has more on Gitmo, Illinois.
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That's a good thing. As the Constitution Project reminds us though, the move must not be used as an excuse for indefinite definitions without charges.
“There is broad bipartisan support for the use of federal prisons to hold Guantanamo detainees who are facing charges or have been convicted in federal court,” said Virginia Sloan, president of the Constitution Project. “Former members of Congress and U.S. Attorneys from Illinois, a former federal judge and influential conservatives all agree that U.S. prisons have the proven track record to successfully hold these men and protect the surrounding communities.
But that support quickly evaporates if the administration’s plan is to hold suspected terrorists under a ‘prolonged detention’ policy that runs counter to our most basic constitutional principles.”
Here is a bi-partisan declaration supporting the trial of Gitmo detainees in federal court and opposing indefinite detention without charges. [Update below..]
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Conservative Andrew Breitbart has launched a series of new sites called Big Government. Today, the site published this leaked memo which suggests that President Obama is going to order the detainees at Guantanamo to be moved to the Thomson Correctional Facility in Illinois.
Key portions are below:
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