Reports: DOJ, Obama Purchasing Illinois Prison for Gitmo Inmate Transfer

Reports: DOJ, Obama Purchasing Illinois Prison for Gitmo Inmate Transfer

News is breaking that the Obama administration is circumventing Congress and purchasing a prison facility in Illinois in which to house detainees once Gitmo is shut down.

The facility, Thomson Prison, is being purchased for “at least $165 million” and Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of House Committee on Homeland Security, believes the intention to house Gitmo inmates there is a foregone conclusion. 

Reps. Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Frank Wolf (R-VA) have both been vehement and outspoken in their opposition to this move by the Obama administration. Wolf , who is Chairman of the House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Committee, has already said “no” to the funding request and blasted Attorney General Eric Holder for urging Obama to transfer and release terrorist detainees in the past.

Yet the Obama administration marches on, determined to purchase the facility.

Said Rep. King: 

After [the show of] widespread and bipartisan opposition to President Obama’s outrageous and dangerous plan to close the ultra-secure detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and import terrorists to the U.S. homeland for trial in civilian courts in New York City and elsewhere, I thought this issue was settled. 

Apparently not.

In addition to congressional opposition, the 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America have opposed the prison purchase.  A letter dated July 27, 2007, signed by more than 100 family members stated:

9/11 families believe this purchase is a back door effort to circumvent Congress and the will of the American people.  Though Senator Dick Durbin and Attorney General Eric Holder have denied that the prison would be retrofitted to receive Guantanamo detainees, this would not be the first time the Department of Justice defied Congress in an effort to bring terrorists inside the Homeland.

Today, they issued another statement about the purchase:

Recent news that the terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi was led by a former Guantanamo detainee has underscored the dangerous profile of current detainees. They continue to pose a serious national security threat to the U.S., and should not be viewed as political pawns which can be moved from a safe, secure off-shore military installation to the heart of America in order to satisfy a small, left-wing political constituency.  This is the same constituency that agitated for the release of prior detainees who have returned to the battlefield and who engage in anti-U.S. propaganda and terrorist recruiting.

Further opposition to the funding of the prison purchase came from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Wolf’s Senate counterpart on the CJS Subcommittee; Sens. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Thad Cochran (R-MS); Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH).


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