Posts Tagged: Guantanamo Bay

Waiting For Thomson: Guantanamo Bay and an Illinois village held hostage

Thomson (IL) Correctional Facility

President Obama made many pledges during his campaign for president, and one of the most cut-and-dried was his promise to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It hasn’t happened. “Gitmo” still houses 172 suspected terrorists.

In Thomson, Illinois, the fate of the prison in Guantanamo Bay is not the first thing on Jerry “Duke” Hebeler’s mind. Hebeler, village president of Thomson, oversees the town of about 600 that lies 90 miles west of Chicago. (more…)

Prison break

According to two Illinois state lawmakers, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and the Obama administration have agreed that the Justice Department’s Federal Bureau of Prisons will buy the vacant Thomson prison in Thomson, Illinois. State Sen. Mike Jacobs of Moline claimed that the $165 million purchase will create 2,000 long-term jobs as the feds convert Thomson to a federal maximum security prison. The sale of Thomson would put to bed a politically embarrassing episode for Barack Obama and Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin who wanted Thomson to house Guantanamo Bay terrorist detainees. The deal, though, is not completely done. (more…)

Illinois can’t escape prison impasse

Thomson Correctional Center

The dispute over the vacant Thomson Correction Center in rural Northwest Illinois reignited last week as Illinois Republican members of Congress want to make absolutely, positively sure that Barack Obama won’t house current Guantanamo Bay detainees there. U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and Illinois House Republicans signed a letter instructing Obama to officially rule out housing terrorist detainees at Thomson, reports Nicole Thompson of the Chicago Daily Herald. The problem is that there is no problem. Obama, Illinois Congressional Republicans, Illinois Congressional Democrats, state government, and U.S. Dept. of Justice Federal Bureau of Prison officials are in firm agreement that Thomson should be converted to a federal prison, not a terrorist detention facility. So why the fighting? (more…)

Obama: Build more prisons

President Obama’s 2012 budget includes $67 million to renovate and open Thomson prison in rural, western Illinois as a federal prison, reports CNN’s Terry Frieden. Frieden writes that Obama hopes Thomson could hold prisoners now at Guantanamo Bay. But heavy, bipartisan opposition in Congress to “Guantanamo in Illinois” makes that almost impossible. In June, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin proposed turning Thomson into a regular prison for federal inmates.  The $67 million could be a downpayment on Durbin’s idea. (more…)

Federal govt. is silent at Thomson auction

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn decided that the best way to end the saga of the Thomson Correctional Center in rural Thomson — once billed as the Guantanamo Bay of Illinois — was to auction off the prison. However, the Chicago Tribune’s Monique Garcia reports that the state held an auction yesterday — and no one participated. (more…)

End game for the former ‘Gitmo in Illinois’

The state of Illinois wants to reach some conclusion in the saga of the Thomson Correctional Center, an empty prison in the northwest part of the state that, at this time last year, Barack Obama wanted used as a federal detention center for terrorists. (more…)

Well, now that we’ve given up on shutting down Gitmo…

The Chicago Tribune’s Katherine Sikba has a “Whatever happened to…” story on “Gitmo in Illinois,” the  planned conversion of a correctional center in the village of Thomson into both a federal prison and detention site for terror suspects. (more…)

Gitmo in Illinois minus the Gitmo part

The Chicago Tribune’s Christi Parsons reports that the Justice Dept. will buy a correctional facility in Thomson, Illinois even if Congress continues to block funding to move Guantanamo Bay detainees to Illinois. Turning the Thomson facility into a federal prison while sidestepping possible hysteria over housing terrorist suspects would appear to be a win-win for Illinois. (more…)

‘Gitmo in Illinois’ plan not locked down

The House Armed Services Committee just passed next year’s defense spending bill — and unanimously voted not to fund a terrorist detention facility in Thomson, Illinois. Now the Obama administration and Illinois politicians like Gov. Pat Quinn are scrambling to save “Guantanamo in Illinois.”

The Washington Independent’s Spencer Ackerman reports that the administration will send a report to Congress outlining why sending Guantanamo detainees to rural Northwestern Illinois is good national security policy. (more…)

The Problems of “Gitmo in Illinois”

The Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Weisman and Evan Perez report that the White House has reached a deal with a group of senators to move prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Thomson, Illinois. But there are indications this deal will never fly. (more…)