Guantánamo Is Coming to Illinois
In case you haven't heard: Some of the terrorism suspects being held at Gitmo are going to be moved to a prison in Illinois that the federal government is buying for the purpose. Closing the Guantánamo Bay detention camp has been a priority of Obama's from day one (it was technically day two when he signed the executive order).It's a little unclear from the reports when this is happening (a leaked White House memo suggests they do it "as expeditiously as possible") and exactly how many people will be moved, but this is still progress. The detainees there deserve their shot at justice.Many neighbors welcome the news for economic reasons, but then there are the predictable safety concerns:
The Thomson Center has received mostly support from its neighbors: More than 30 villages, towns, cities, counties, chambers of commerce, and other community and business organizations have sent letters and expressed support for the plan. On the other hand, US Rep. Mark Kirk, a suburban Chicago Republican, had encouraged elected officials to write the president to oppose a plan to bring terrorism suspects to Illinois. Kirk has said that bringing Guantanamo Bay detainees to Illinois would make the prison and the state magnets for terrorist attacks.I have to say, I just don't get this fear that it's somehow unsafe to bring these suspects onto American soil. Even if we assume the people being moved are trained terrorists, it's not like we're dealing with David Blaine. The Florence, Colorado supermax prison has never had an escape. We know how to keep people locked up. And is al Qaeda going to come to Illinois guns a' blazin' to break some footsoldier out of prison? I don't see it.