Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thomson Illinois Prison to House Detainees

The New York Times reported this morning: “The Obama administration is expected to announce on Tuesday that it has selected a prison in northwestern Illinois to house terrorism suspects now being held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in a major step toward shutting down that military detention facility.” So where is Thomson, Illinois? You might well ask. Thomson is so far west in Illinois it’s almost in Iowa--right on the Mississippi River, about 30 miles north and east of the quad-city area of Rock Island-Moline-Davenport-Bettendorf. Thomson is home to the Thomson Correctional Center, has a population of maybe 600 and the folks are not happy to be targeted to receive the Gitmo detainees. Well, I guess not! The NYT says, “When talk of bringing Guantánamo detainees to Thomson first surfaced in late November, both Mr. Quinn (Democrat Gov. Patrick J. Quinn) and Mr. Durbin (Democrat senior senator Richard J. Durbin) held a series of news conferences to promote the idea of turning over the empty state prison, which was built in 2001 at a cost to Illinois taxpayers of about $120 million, to the federal penal system. “Top Illinois Republicans — including Representatives Donald Manzullo, whose district includes the prison, and Mark Steven Kirk, a candidate for the United States Senate seat once held by Mr. Obama — have denounced previous talk of such a move, saying it could make Illinois a target for terrorist attacks. “Under the proposal for Thomson, the Bureau of Prisons would buy the facility and improve its security. Most of the prison would house ordinary high-security inmates, but a part would be leased to the Defense Department to hold terror suspects.” Howsomever, if you want to hear a geshrei, wait until the folks in Brooklyn hear that Qaeda detainees are to be tried in that part of NYC. But both stories are small potatoes, by me, to the news that Hideki Matsui is leaving the Yankees and going to the Angels. OH NO! Say it's not so!!!!

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