Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Finally Closing It...

More and more steps are being taken to close Guantánamo, the bushbaby playpen of injustice, and bring the detainees to trial or repatriation.
Just as Obama promised before election and proclaimed immediately after inauguration, this facility and the contradiction to principles of Justice will be eliminated.

U.S. to announce transfer of detainees to Ill. prison (The Washington Post)
CHICAGO -- Dozens of terrorism suspects being held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will be moved to a little-used Illinois state prison that will be acquired and upgraded by the federal government, an Obama administration official said.
The critical step toward fulfilling President Obama's pledge to shut the Guantanamo detention center will be announced Tuesday, said the official, who reported that Obama has ordered the acquisition of the eight-year-old Thomson Correctional Center, about 150 miles northwest of Chicago.
Washington (CNN) -- A limited number of detainees from the Guantanamo Bay prison will be transferred to a prison in Illinois, President Obama will announce Tuesday, a senior administration official said. The exact number is "hard to pin down because categories of detainees may shift. While 100 may be the upper limit, the actual number at well below that (75 or perhaps even less)," said another senior official, who is not authorized to discuss the issue with the media.
Obama and Gitmo: Big steps on policy and politics (USA Today)

"Out of everybody I've talked to, very, very few people are scared," says Todd Baker, owner of a bait shop in Thomson. "Most people are happy to get jobs here There will be more people going to the restaurants, shopping -- and going fishing."
Thomson Mayor Jerry Hebeler says that although "you're not going to satisfy everybody," he thinks most residents' concerns about security when terrorism detainees are moved to the prison have been eased. "I'd never chase jobs if I thought it was going to jeopardize security and safety," he says.
The Obama administration will make the news official later today. Don't know if the president himself will speak, or if the White House will issue some kind of paper announcement. The plan includes federal acquisition of the Thomson, which is currently state-owned.
Throughout his presidency, Obama has said that holding prisoners at Gitmo for indefinite periods of time has undermined America's reputation for fairness in the world, and handed a recruiting tool to al-Qaeda terrorists. In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech last week, he said:

Even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules, I believe the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war. That is what makes us different from those whom we fight. That is a source of our strength. That is why I prohibited torture. That is why I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed.
And I say: Action is being taken where it has long been overdue!

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