The Obama administration is seriously studying the use of a prison 150 miles from Chicago as a site to hold inmates now imprisoned at Guantanamo. The move is being embraced by Illinois Democrats, but GOP House members from Illinois have signed a letter to the president opposing the move:
Dear Mr. President:
According to the Chicago Tribune, your Administration may transfer up to 200 Al Qaeda terrorists from their detention facility in Guantanamo Bay a prison in Thomson, Illinois, 150 miles from Chicago.
If your Administration brings Al Qaeda terrorists to Illinois, our state and the Chicago Metropolitan Area will become ground zero for Jihadist terrorist plots, recruitment and radicalization.
Furthermore, since Thomson is located in the Northern District of Illinois, any civilian prosecution of Al Qaeda terrorists would occur in Rockford or downtown Chicago.
As home to America’s tallest building, we should not invite Al Qaeda to make Illinois its number one target.
The United States spent more than $50 million to build the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to keep terrorists away from U.S. soil. Al Qaeda terrorists should stay where they cannot endanger American citizens.
As elected officials in the State of Illinois, we urge you to put the safety and security of Illinois families first and stop any plan to transfer Al Qaeda terrorists to our state.
That raises a question: Are these guys really craven cowards, or are they merely willing to play craven cowards in an attempt to gain political advantage? Do they really think that Chicago, “The City of Big Shoulders,” has become Chicago, the City of Frightened Whiners?
In fact, if you embrace the attitude reflected in that letter, we ought to just quit fighting al Qaida altogether — that way, maybe they won’t be mad at us anymore.
Personally, the most charitable explanation I can think of is that the GOP has gotten al Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood confused with the evil Magneto and the Brotherhood of Mutants. They seem to think that Islamic terrorists can melt steel prison bars by staring at them, that they can shape-shift themselves right out of federal Supermax custody.
Even as political theater, this strikes me as a loser. The American people do not want leaders who treat them as cowards.