Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review today about the government’s purchase of Thomson State Prison in Illinois. Mr. McCarthy believes that the prison is being prepared to house the inmates currently at Guantanamo.
The article reports:
As the 9/11 Families point out, the Justice Department’s court filing on the purchase of the state prison took pains to keep open its option to transfer Gitmo prisoners there. DOJ declares that the purpose of the acquisition includes “provid[ing] humane and secure confinement of individuals held under authority of any Act of Congress, and such other persons as in the opinion of the Attorney General of the United States are proper subjects for confinement in such institutions.” The Gitmo detainees are being held under the authority of acts of Congress — in particular, the 2001 authorization for the use of military force. And Attorney General Holder has been insistent that, in his opinion, civilian federal prisons are fitting holding facilities for enemy-combatant terrorists captured in wartime.
As with many other things (the release of the Blind Sheik, the nasty parts of Obamacare, the crackdown on fracking, etc.), it is a safe bet that there will be no transfers of Guantanamo prisoners there until after the 2012 election.
What is the problem with moving Guantanamo prisoners there? Housing prisoners in the United States rather than on an island makes them easier for terrorists to access or to create hostage situations near the prison. Because the prisoners are actually on United States soil, it is only a matter of time before lawyers will get involved and find a legal loophole to let the prisoners loose on American streets. Generally, housing terrorists on American soil is just a bad idea.
This is another illustration of the need for a new administration in Washington.