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‘They Want to Kill You; They Want to Kill Me; They Want to Kill Our Families’

“They want to kill you; they want to kill me; they want to kill our families,” said the chief steward for the union representing workers at Standish Maximum Correctional Facility in Standish, Mich., referring to Guantanamo Bay detainees. The steward, Tom Kerrins, spoke at a “town hall” meeting held in a local church yesterday to oppose the transfer of terror suspects to Standish.

Local restaurant owner David Munson, inspired by the attention given to recent health care “town hall” meetings held around the country, decide to organize his own meeting to oppose moving Guantanamo detainees to the maximum-security prison in his town. Federal officials toured the facility last week to determine whether it might be able to house some Guantanamo detainees. President Obama has promised to close the prison in Cuba by January.

Yesterday’s meeting, held at Resurrection of the Lord Church, was reportedly dominated by opponents of the plan, who fear it would make the town of 1,500 residents a terrorist target. The Standish prison is currently slated to close due to state budget cuts.

“I just wouldn’t want to live with it up here too close to me,” Merle Decker, who lives across a cornfield from the prison, told a local TV news station. “Them people are liable to do anything.”

City Manager Michael Moran, however, said a “silent majority” of local residents would consider accepting the detainees in their town to save the prison, where about 340 people work, making it the area’s largest employer.

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