Illinois leadership proposed the transfer of Gitmo detainees to an unused maximum security facility in Illinois. The Thomson Correction Facility sits on a 146-acre reservation and lies 150 miles west of Chicago. News of the proposal broke over the weekend just days after the Obama Administration announced that it would try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind behind the 9/11 attaches, as well as other co-conspirators, in federal district court in New York. Top Illinois Democrats, including Governor Patrick Quinn and Senator Dick Durbin, openly supported the proposal over the weekend citing that it would bring over 3,000 jobs to the area and help decrease local unemployment by 50%. Republican opposition, however, responded to the proposal by highlighting legal and security concerns. Republican Representative Donald Manzullo, who represents the district where the Thomson facility is located, stated that the administration should not invite terrorism suspects to the home of the Willis Tower, currently the nation’s tallest building. Additionally, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani noted that the Thomson proposal and the trying of Mohammed in federal district court has illustrated a shift in the administration’s view on the war on terror. Giuliani stated over the weekend that detaining these suspects in federal prisons and trying them in the civil system acknowledges that their alleged actions are no longer “acts of war.” If the proposal passes, the Thomson facility will be sold to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, who would retrofit the facility with new measures beyond those of current super-max standards. Read more at NYTimes.
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