Friday, December 11, 2009

Attorney General Grinch Sneaks Gitmo to Illinois

The following story is beginning to appear in a few places, but the account here, which seems to be local news, has the most details. It is also more measured in its tone. In other words, while the news is bad, maybe it's not as bad as it seems? We’ll see.

First, though, a little background: The Quad-City Times, which ran this report, assumes we have some context here, which we don’t, of course, unless we live near the Quad Cities.

In fact, I had great trouble ascertaining which four cities take in this “quad”. Iowa is mentioned, as is Illinois. For sure, Davenport is one of the cities.

Finally, I turned to Wiki for these Quad Cities. Turns out that the four are Bettendorf, Iowa; Moline, Illinois; Rock Island, Illinois; and East Moline, Illinois. However, the reality is that they are the Quint Cities, since Davenport, Iowa is the biggest urban area. Go here to see the map. It’s worth a look.

Now for the story, in much greater detail here than elsewhere:

A leaked memorandum posted to a Web site* Friday says the Obama administration has chosen to move detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the Thomson Correctional Center, but the administration says it is only a draft and is “predecisional.”

*[see Big Government, which has a copy of this most interesting “directive”]

The one-page memo, dated Thursday, directs acquisition of the Thomson facility and relocation of the detainees there. It was posted on

An administration official cautioned Friday afternoon that it is not unusual for drafts to be prepared for multiple possibilities.

Notice the “official” isn’t named. And notice that the “draft” seems to have been posted on Friday evening…again. Whenever this administration has bad news, it waits until the regular media are putting things to bed for the weekend. This most untransparent habit of theirs is getting old. Watch what they do, not what they say. And always, always, watch your back.

Here’s some choice bureaucratese in an email regarding the controversial Gitmo move:

“This is a draft, predecisional document that lawyers at various agencies were drafting in preparation for a potential future announcement about where to house GTMO detainees,” the administration official said in an e-mail. “Drafts of official documents are often prepared for any and all possibilities, regardless of whether a decision has been made about the policy or if the document will be used.”

The Q.C. Times continues:

Administration officials have previously said Thomson [IL] is a leading contender to house the Guantanamo Bay detainees, and recently Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said he expects a decision to be made soon.

Boy, that really made the headlines of all the papers, didn’t it? Hmmm….I didn’t look back very far. Maybe Q.C. had a lede and I missed it. Which “administration officials” have named Thomson previously as a contender? The last I heard, it was a reluctant town in Michigan being dragooned into this.
- - - - - - - - -
After the memo was leaked, Quinn and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., issued a statement saying they’ve been told no decision has been made yet.

“Even though the final decision has not been made, we are encouraged by this development,” Quinn and Durbin said in the statement.

In other words, nobody told them anything, which is par for the course in this administration. Amazing behavior when you consider that Obama was the Senator from Illinois. I realize protocol is not our President's strong point, but surely he could have let the Senators and Governor of his state in on this development?

The administration has said moving the detainees to Thomson, along with 1,600 to 2,000 federal prisoners would be an economic boon to the ailing region. Thomson, Ill., is about 50 miles northeast of the Quad-Cities.

A public hearing is scheduled for Dec. 22 for state officials to gather public comments about selling the prison to the federal government. The hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Sterling High School, 1608 4th Ave., Sterling.

Excellent date choice: three days before Christmas, and the same date as the Rifqa Bary hearing, which will be using up a lot of the newsroom oxygen.

Do you think this state property sale (a fire sale at reduced rates) to the federal government is a sop for the failure to get the Olympics to Illinois?

Do you think it is humane to move all those people from tropical Cuba in freaking December when the Quad Cities are constantly digging out from snow falls? Or is it a plan to increase the death rate among the prisoners - who, by the way, are begging not to be moved to the U.S.?

Do you think any locals have false hopes that they’ll be hired at this prison? The news report doesn’t say, but surely someone will tell them the real story real soon.

If that document at Big Government is for real, then the prison is to be purchased at the behest of the President by Attorney General Holder. That will make Thomson a federal prison, not a state-owned facility. Thomson, Illinois is in for some hard times ahead if they think this is going to bring them anything but Lone Ranger terrorists out to “help” their buddies. It will also mean federal prison employees who cycle in and out, providing little in the way of income for the locals.

And don’t forget, federal pens don’t pay local taxes. They cost local municipalities money whenever they show up.

The document bears close examination. It is directed to the Secretary of Defense, letting him know it’s his job to get these terrorists up to Illinois and settled in those cells.

Merry Christmas, Secretary Gates. I am amazed you’re still here.


Cyrus said...

Just out of curiosity, are there no pens in Alaska? North and west of Fairbanks is pretty isolated, making good locational sense.