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Monday, November 16, 2009

GITMO to Illinois?

The administration is floating the idea of moving GITMO detainees to a closed down super max in Illinois.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Sen. Dick Durbin said Sunday that a proposal to house detainees from Guantanamo Bay at a near-empty prison in rural Illinois would amount to a jobs engine for their state, while at least one critic warned that the move could make the local community a terrorist target.

The maximum-security Thomson Correctional Facility, about 150 miles west of Chicago, is one of several evaluated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and emerged as a leading option to house the detainees.

A "Democratic official" also said that this move would pump $1 billion into the local economy. Of course, this official, unnamed, never cited how they came to this conclusion. In defending the decision, Dick Durbin said this.

But Quinn and Durbin accused Republicans of fear-mongering. They said the facility would be secure, would be located in a remote area and would hold fewer than 100 detainees.

"For those in politics who want to stir up fear, you ought to be ashamed of yourself," Quinn said, adding that the local community is supportive of the proposal.

I'm having trouble squaring a prison in a remote area housing less than 100 people generating $1 billion to the local economy. What is this local community? If this area is "remote", there is no LOCAL community. There should be no community at all.

The jail is located just outside of Thomson, Illinois. There were less than 600 people in the village of Thomson as of the last census. There's currently 200 minimum security prisoners in Thomson Correctional. The prison was supposed to go through a major overhaul early this decade but that never materialized. Thomson, according to its village president Jerry Hebeler, has been struggling financially ever since.


xformed said...

Oh, it shall pump $1B, that's not a problem...just left over change to the $787B...but I surmise it will be stripped from the DoD budget, using the rationale that they were combatants....just long enough to take the money from some defense spending requirements. National defense money most likely will be used and we shall suffer the loss of that money as it's converted to pork and political payoffs. And you can count on it getting spent to make roads, bridges, parks, etc, just like John Murtha builds airports in the middle of the back country of PA for he and a few of his constituent's use.

Now, to be fair, the money used to keep GTMO open could be moved for this, it already being in the budget, now that I think about it, but when it's being spent in Cuba, it sure can't buy votes in the IL counties. In any case, it will be pork-ified.

DoJ, who made this decision, I'm sure didn't have to do a zero-sum calculation on their money.

I'm sure a great investigative blogger might want to hunt this dog down and expose the funding behind the decision. It would make a good story. Maybe even track the expenditures as time goes on. Great serial piece in the making, a forensic look at how Federal Funds are moved with a straight faced speech, for a completely political agenda.

To be completely snarky, DoJ will need all their budget to hunt down domestic terrorists, so long as they are the right type.

To be serious, I'm sure this is a planned move to make sure lots of money flows to the Chicago political machine, and, I'll predict, will be mis-used, just as Corp of Engineer money sent to New Orleans didn't get used for the legally mandated levee re-/building projects, but for other such purposes as the "local" deemed more important.

When I worked in the federal Government, that would have meant a one way trip to federal Prison for personally reprogramming money, despite what Congress said, but then I was not a politician with my hand out for political gain and friends in high places, I just was defending The Constitution.

xformed said...

Oh, and let's not forget Dick Durbin, who called our guards Nazis.

He'll be pulling a pile of cash in to use for favors.

Words fail me. Our economy is tanking and The WON can fly all over the world, and then hand money out like there's plenty of it.