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Rep. Wolf: Gitmo detainees could be headed to Illinois

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

President Obama violated his self-imposed earmark ban to purchase a prison in Illinois that Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., warns could soon house the terrorists and suspected terrorists now at Guantanamo Bay.

“I am concerned that this purchase will set in motion the administration’s plan to close the terrorist detention facility in Guantanamo Bay by transferring terrorist detainees to U.S. maximum security prisons, like Thomson,” said Wolf in a statement on the federal government’s move to purchase Thomson Correctional Center for $165 million.  “One example of this ongoing effort is the request of Senator Durbin’s colleague, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Diane Feinstein, the Government Accountability Office is conducting a survey of U.S. prisons that could be used to hold Guantanamo Bay detainees.”

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., denied that Obama wants Thomson available for Guantanamo Bay detainees. “This argument they can move Guantanamo detainees in the future there is completely false for the following reason: We’ve signed these treaties with countries around the world, and one of them is you don’t put military prisoners in anything other than a military prison,” Durbin told the Chicago Sun Times.

Wolf noted that Obama had to “circumvent Congress” to make the purchase.  “The purchase also violates the Obama administration’s own policy against funding earmark requests, as the Justice Department designated Senator Durbin’s request for the Thomson acquisition,” he said, before suggesting that “this may be the most disreputable Justice Department in modern history.”

 

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