August 13, 2009

Gitmo To Michigan, A Real Possbility

Gitmo prisioners may really be coming to Michigan, it's not a distinct possilbility anymore.

Federal and state officials visited a maximum-security prison in rural Michigan on Thursday to begin assessing its suitability to house Guantanamo Bay detainees.

About a dozen state officials were joined by 18 representatives from the Defense, Justice and Homeland Security departments and the Bureau of Prisons on the tour of the lockup in Standish, said Russ Marlan, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections.

I wrote about this back in May when a former governor suggested this as a way to bring jobs to Michigan. Except he suggested prisions in the Upper Pennesula.

The prison in Standish, 145 miles north of Detroit, and a military penitentiary at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., are being considered to house the 229 suspected al-Qaida, Taliban and foreign fighters currently at the Guantanamo Bay prison, if it is closed by 2010 as President Barack Obama has ordered.

145 miles north of Detroit, folks that isn't in some sparse populated area of Michigan. A prision stands there now, except it is slated to be closed by the state and the people in the area are all for bringing Gitmo prisioners to the area so they can keep their jobs.

How wrong is it to want to keep your job so bad that you are willing to risk the lives of a couple million people. It's just under an hour from Saginaw, just over and hour from Flint and only 2 hours from my house.

"Let 'em come. This community is hurting enough," Gloria Watson, 71, said while lunching in a downtown restaurant.

The terrorism suspects would be no more dangerous than other criminals who have been held in the prison throughout its 20-year history, said Watson, the pastor of a Presbyterian church in nearby Twining. "I just wish people would stop running scared."

Well Mr Watson, maybe you think they are no more dangerous then anyone else that has been in the prision in the past, but I didn't just crawl out from under the rock in which you have been living.

When the Steward for the Michigan Corrections unions has a problem with bringing the Gitmo prisioners to the area maybe people should reconsider their "oh there not that bad" position.

"The problem I have is, you almost are putting a bulls-eye on the whole entire area. There are just too many things that could go wrong," said Tom Kerrins, the chief steward for the Michigan Corrections Organization, the union representing prison workers in Standish.

Kerrins, 49, said the union opposes sending the Gitmo prisoners to Standish in part because it doubts the jobs of watching over them would go to the state officers working there now and would instead go to federal officers.

Kansas officials and senators oppose bringing Gitmo prisioners to their state but Michigan officials who think saving 300 out of nearly 1,000,000 jobs already lost in the state is worth it.

Posted by Quality Weenie at August 13, 2009 04:03 PM

Unbelievable! I still don't understand bringing these people into the US. Ugh.

Posted by: pam at August 13, 2009 07:49 PM

Isn't Dearborn MI one of the largest concentrations of Muslims in the USA?

So basically, if the jihadis escape, they have sympathizers relatively nearby.


Posted by: Graumagus at August 14, 2009 11:34 AM

Grau - Yep, Dearborn with the largest concentration of Muslems in the world outside of the Middle East is only 2 hours from Standish.

I really don't think anyone has even thought that might be a bad factor in this decision.

There are terrorist cells in Dearborn, the FBI has stated that fact. Do they not think that those cells are not already planning things just in case Gitmo does come to Michigan?

And what is even worse, not many people around here are objecting to this. Not a peep from any people in Congress (DC or Lansing)

Posted by: Quality Weenie at August 14, 2009 04:48 PM