Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 15, 2009

FROM GITMO TO THOMSON.... This is a welcome, important step towards closing the detention facility at Gitmo once and for all.

Dozens of terrorism suspects being held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will be moved to a little-used Illinois state prison that will be acquired and upgraded by the federal government, an Obama administration official said.

The critical step toward fulfilling President Obama's pledge to shut the Guantanamo detention center will be announced Tuesday, said the official, who reported that Obama has ordered the acquisition of the eight-year-old Thomson Correctional Center, about 150 miles northwest of Chicago.

As part of the plan, over the next six months, federal officials will upgrade the facility, to the point that it will have a security level described as "beyond supermax."

This afternoon, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, both of whom support the transfer, will be briefed on the policy at the White House.

The developments are likely to be welcomed by the local community, which has been very hard hit by the recession, and is counting on the prison, which is now almost empty, to be a source of economic renewal for the area. Indeed, a Republican state representative from the area, who has a background as a law enforcement official, said a month ago, "This is a tremendous opportunity and we would be idiots to waste it."

This is not to say the plan will face no resistance. Congressional Republicans will no doubt argue that the administration is "bringing terrorists to America," and Rep. Mark Kirk (R), who's running for the Senate in Illinois, wants to exploit baseless fear for political gain, even if his arguments are completely ridiculous.

But the split won't fall along traditional left-right lines -- some prominent conservative leaders are on board with the transfer plan, too. In a joint statement prepared by the Constitution Project, David Keene, founder of American Conservative Union, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, and former representative and presidential candidate Bob Barr, the conservatives said moving suspected terrorists to the Thomson prison facility "makes good sense." They added, in a message to the GOP, "The scaremongering about these issues should stop."

Steve Benen 10:05 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (25)

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Comments

This is an intolerable slap in the face for America's current supermax criminals. Just how many innocent people does a white guy have to murder before Republicans will piss themselves at the mere mention of his name?

Posted by: SpaceSquid on December 15, 2009 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

"The scaremongering about these issues should stop."

Negative!

As a proud republican, let me paraphrase Roosevelt: We have nothing to fear, but the loss of fear itself!

We will continue to promote concepts that keep our base pissing in their pants. Thus, when we retake power, our base will eagerly agree to resuming torture, spying on american citizens, and a continued loss of freedoms and ideals that were once believed the norm by americans.

Posted by: RepublicanPointOfView on December 15, 2009 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

I am sure they're planing to construct some luxury boxes for Banksters and other VIPs...

Perhaps there will be a corporate sponsor and logo for the prison... "Bank of America Maximum Security" maybe...

Posted by: neill on December 15, 2009 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Seems like I have been banned from this site as they keep deleting my posts that point out Obama's failure as a President.

Kevin Drum never did anything like this.

[Okay genius...If you can comment you aren't banned. You are being moderated because you have crossed the line into repetitive trolling and if you keep it up, you will be banned. And by the way, moderation started under Kevin's watch. --Moderator]

Posted by: gregor on December 15, 2009 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

This is not to say the plan will face no resistance.

The seven dwarfs fighting for the GOP nomination for governor are unanimous in opposition to this plan. Of course, if it's a done deal and one of them gets elected (shudder), he'll just shrug and say, "What can you do?"

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on December 15, 2009 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Terrorists in my state! Oh, my god! We've never had badass criminals in Illinois before!

Hey, I wonder why Burris isn't part of the briefing. Seriously.

Posted by: shortstop on December 15, 2009 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

"The scaremongering about these issues should stop."

-tough to do, when it's all you have. (color coded terror alerts, WMDs around the world, Axis of Evil, Republican HealthScare; the list goes on and on and on. . .

Posted by: DAY on December 15, 2009 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Seems like I have been banned from this site

Think about what you just said, Einstein.

Posted by: shortstop on December 15, 2009 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

I just hope they have Professor Xavier consulting on the design of those renovations. He's learned a lot about building cells to hold supervillans since Magneto's escape.

Posted by: biggerbox on December 15, 2009 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

"Beyond super-max?" I would guess that means "mega-max," or something.

Nuclear-max. No. Fusion-max. Ah, no.

Obama-max. Hmmmmmmmmm.

Super-nuclear-orgasm-max. That's my pick.

Posted by: paradox on December 15, 2009 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Prisons for economic renewal, hooray!

What if there was a terror event and no terrorists came?

Posted by: Peace Trollop on December 15, 2009 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Gee gregor, I wonder why...

Posted by: MissMudd on December 15, 2009 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

..And nobody came..

I f'ed up that ~50 year old t-shirt phrase..

Posted by: Peace Trollop on December 15, 2009 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

and Rep. Mark Kirk (R), who's running for the Senate in Illinois, wants to exploit baseless fear for political gain, even if his arguments are completely ridiculous.

The people of Illinois need to tell this pants-pisser and any others like him to put a sock in it. What exactly does this fool think "Supermax" means, anyway? The real shame here is that the terrorists the country really does need to worry about -- the banksters on Wall Street -- aren't being sent there, too.

Posted by: electrolite on December 15, 2009 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

The people of Illinois need to tell this pants-pisser and any others like him to put a sock in it. What exactly does this fool think "Supermax" means, anyway?

That's the meme I'm going to be pushing, and I live about two hours east of Thomson. The freaks and gang-bangers caged down in Joliet, two hours southeast of here, are a lot scarier than those battered remnants at Gitmo.

Posted by: Midland on December 15, 2009 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

So why is Grover Norquist suddenly being sensible? What's wrong with this scheme - what hideous detail am I missing?

Posted by: N.Wells on December 15, 2009 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

A couple of weeks ago, I heard a former republican governor of Illinois make a very coherent agrument about why this is good for a hard hit town in Illinois. I thought, good for him, he hasn't wet his pants yet.

Posted by: Jackie on December 15, 2009 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Super-nuclear-orgasm-max. That's my pick.

I'm with you, pal.

Posted by: not shortstop, that's for sure on December 15, 2009 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

A couple of weeks ago, I heard a former republican governor of Illinois make a very coherent agrument about why this is good for a hard hit town in Illinois. I thought, good for him, he hasn't wet his pants yet.

Posted by: Jackie

The living former Republican governors of Illinois who aren't in federal prison could not get nominated by today's Illinois GOP. They are both far too moderate.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on December 15, 2009 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Why can't someone moderate and delete seriously inane comments,lies and obfuscations by republicans and teabaggers like what was done to Gregor?

[We do. Usually before you see them. But live humans moderate the threads here, and the activities of life sometimes mean something egregious gets through. --Mod]

Posted by: Gandalf on December 15, 2009 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Super-nuclear-orgasm-max. That's my pick.

I'm with you, pal.

You would think this would be a good thing. Until it's so intense it lands you in the hospital, that is....

Posted by: Stefan on December 15, 2009 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Whew! Thank god for your Cadillac healthcare plan, Stef.

Posted by: shortstop on December 15, 2009 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

I live about 5 miles from the famed Folsom prison bad guysincluding Charles Manson.
At any given time it houses 7000 prisoners
In its 120 year history only 1 man has ever escaped.
When I first moved here I was concerned about the Prison
After living here for 20 years now you never even give it a thought.
It provides high paying stable jobs (prison guards make over $100,000 a year with overtime) and all the added community benefits that go along with those high priced recession proof salaries.

To be honest, if I were a terrorist and wanted to break my buddies out of jail in Gitmo or Thomson, I'd kidnap a school bus load of kids in Iowa and hold them hostage, threaten to kill them one by one if the terrorist weren't released and provided safe passage to Yemen.
The political pressure would be so great the government would have no alternative.
the stupid thing would be to try to bust them out of a heavily fortified maximum security prison.

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Posted by: Lister on March 31, 2010 at 5:16 AM | PERMALINK

There will be a lot off mothers and fathers how think the same about this. I'm gay, so i can't be a father, but i think the same about it.

Posted by: zoekmachine marketing on December 28, 2010 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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