Reuters wrote last night, “The federal government will buy an Illinois prison that the Obama administration once considered as a successor to the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday.”
Politico adds, “The unusual move to ‘reprogram’ existing Justice Department funding bypassed House appropriators, who had objected to the purchase. . . . In 2010, the Obama administration and Durbin floated the idea of moving some Guantanamo prisoners to the Illinois facility, but the proposal was opposed by Congressional Republicans as well as civil liberties and human rights groups, and the House later voted overwhelmingly to prevent the transfer of any Gitmo prisoner to the U.S.”
Indeed, Reuters notes, “Congress blocked funding for President Barack Obama’s idea and tightly restricted all transfers from the camp at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in eastern Cuba.”
But the purchase still raises some serious concerns, especially because the Obama administration went ahead with the purchase without approval from Congress.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Congress has repeatedly rejected the Obama administration’s effort to use taxpayer funds to purchase this prison. It is clear that the funding law that Sen. Durbin voted for and President Obama signed does not suddenly authorize what Congress has repeatedly denied. This election-eve purchase comes at the expense of delaying approved projects that are not in the President’s home state. And there is overwhelming, bipartisan opposition to the President’s plan to transfer terrorists from the secure detention facility at Guantanamo bay into the United States. Terrorists don’t deserve the same legal rights as the Americans they’re targeting. We should be focused on stopping terrorists, not defending them. And Americans would rather their tax dollars be spent preventing attacks from terrorists, than spent bringing them into their cities and towns as the Obama administration has repeatedly tried to achieve.”