UPDATE: The WH is trying to “clarify” the Thomson/Gitmo memo…
Politico reported that the WH is referring to the Thomson Correctional Center memo as nothing more than an “internal draft document.” An unnamed WH official elaborated by saying that this is a “draft, pre-decisional document that lawyers at various agencies were drafting in preparation for a potential future announcement about where to house GTMO detainees.” The official further stated that “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.”
According to FoxNews, though, the White House has already drafted an order that conceivably could be used to send detainees to Thomson Correctional Center. Before the executive decision is finalized, Obama would need to first sign the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill which passed in the House on Thursday and is currently working its way through the Senate. That bill is expected to pass in the Senate this weekend.
BigGovernment.com reported just hours ago about a leaked memo, allegedly sent yesterday from the Department of Justice to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, that indicates that Gitmo detainees will indeed be directed to the Thomson Correctional Center (TCC) here in Illinois as “expeditiously as possible.”
This “leaked” memo states that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will “acquire and activate the TCC as a United States Penitentiary… The Attorney General shall also provide to the Department of Defense a sufficient portion of the TCC to serve as a detention facility to be operated by the Department of Defense, to accommodate the relocation of detainees.”
The Chicago Tribune reports that Gov. Pat Quinn and Senator Dick Durbin are calling this an “encouraging” development, saying that this is evidence that the WH has “narrowed its focus.” Quinn and Durbin say that they are looking forward to addressing “important questions regarding security and job creation” so that the agreement can be finalized.
That same article in the Tribune quoted an anonymous WH official as saying that the memo was “pre-decisional,” while emphasizing that a final decision has not yet been made. President Obama has been actively seeking to close Guantanamo Bay and bring detainees from that prison to America in order to “try them for their suspected crimes.”
Go ahead, take a look at the memo here>>>>>>
……and see for yourself if it reads as if it is “pre-decisional.”
The Illinois Commission on Government Forcasting and Accountability will be holding a public meeting to discuss this issue on Tuesday, December 22nd, at 2 PM at the Sterling, IL High School Centennial Auditorium. We have been informed that public comment will be allowed during the meeting. A public protest is being organized to begin at 1 PM just outside the high school. For more information about that protest, you may contact Ralph Sprovier at (630) 696-1297.
The concern with this story is not so much the possibility of one of these detainees escaping…but rather the fact that, with the exeption of this public meeting at the end of the month, the citizens of Illinois have not even been asked for their opinion on this matter.
Could housing terrorists at TCC allow that prison to become a target for future terrorist activity? Only time will tell…