Last stop, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Next stop, rural Illinois. The morning’s papers are reporting that President Obama has ordered the federal government to buy the Thomson Correctional Center, a state facility 150 miles northwest of Chicago. (Above.) There the feds will place up to 100 detainees held at the U.S. detention center at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay.
“Local officials have promoted the idea, in part because the project would create more than 3,000 jobs. Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinnplan to be in Washington for the announcement,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Republicans, meanwhile, have argued against the move, saying the transfer could make the area a target for terrorists.
“The administration envisions the prison grounds in rural Thomson, close to the Mississippi River, as a place for prolonged detention and a site of future military commission trials,” reports Peter Slevin of the Washington Post. “The offer to sell the prison to the federal government came from the village president in October. It quickly won the support of the Illinois Democratic leadership, including Gov. Pat Quinn and Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin…”