GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Proft pointed out that "the state's 28 current prisons are 32 percent over capacity. Why not alleviate the overcrowding and bring the Thomson prison online" for existing criminals instead of importing them from abroad? Kirk Dillard, another Republican candidate, blasted Quinn's fiscal desperation: "I think al-Qaida needs to stay in Cuba. It shows how pathetic the state of Illinois' finances are, where we have to stand with our hat in hand and have the federal government give us money to open a penitentiary that the Democrats have let sit vacant for years."
Obama officials stress that the prison would house Gitmo detainees separately from federal inmates, and that the two would be "managed separately" with "no opportunity to interact" between them. Which entirely misses the point that Gitmo detainees' lawyers and translators have been the primary security concerns -- not just other inmates:
-- Last month, jihadist-enabling lawyer Lynne Stewart was finally ordered to jail after her conviction in 2005 for aiding and abetting imprisoned blind Egyptian sheik Omar Abdel Rahman by smuggling coded messages of violence to terrorist followers abroad -- in violation of an explicit pledge to abide by her client's court-ordered isolation.
-- Earlier this summer, the Justice Department launched an inquiry into photographs of undercover CIA officials and other intelligence personnel taken by ACLU-sponsored researchers assisting the defense team of Guantanamo Bay detainees. The pictures of covert American CIA officers -- "in some cases surreptitiously taken outside their homes," according to the Washington Post -- were shown to jihadi suspects tied to the 9/11 attacks in order to identify the interrogators.
-- As investigative journalist Paul Sperry reported recently, a number of Arabic and Pashtu interpreters who served at Gitmo are "under active investigation for omitting valuable intelligence from their translations of detainee interrogations, among other security breaches."
The corruptocratic Attorney General Eric Holder is, of course, in no position to raise any principle objections to the Gitmo-in-the-heartland plans. Remember: He served as senior partner with Covington and Burling -- the prestigious Washington, D.C., law firm that represents 17 Yemenis currently held at Gitmo. And top attorneys at his Justice Department have had to recuse themselves numerous times over their conflicts of interest in Gitmo-related cases. Holder has failed to provide a full recusal list of all the Gitmo detainee cases from which current Justice Department political appointees have had to recuse themselves.
Meanwhile, Team Obama is now championing the very same indefinite detention powers for detainees deemed untriable that it condemned the Bush administration for exercising -- and for which it targeted Gitmo for closure in the first place. Give the White House a gold medal for costly incoherence and reckless redundance.