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Obama Administration Notifies Illinois Leaders of Gitmo Detainee Transfer

From a letter just sent to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano:

As the President has made clear, we will need to continue to detain some individuals currently held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. To securely house these detainees, Federal agencies plan to work with you and other state officials to acquire the nearly vacant maximum security facility in Thomson, Illinois. This facility will serve dual purposes. First, the Department of Justice will acquire this facility primarily to house Federal inmates. The Bureau of Prisons has a pressing need for more bed space in light of current crowded conditions. Second, the Defense Department will operate part of the facility to house a limited number of detainees from Guantanamo. The two parts of the facility will be managed separately, and Federal inmates will have no opportunity to interact with Guantanamo detainees.

The security of the facility and the surrounding region is our paramount concern. The facility was built in 2001 to maximum security specifications, and after acquisition it will be enhanced to exceed perimeter security standards at the nation’s only “supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado, where there has never been an escape or external attack. Federal departments and agencies, including the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, and Defense, will work closely with state and local law enforcement authorities to identify and mitigate any risks, including sharing information through the state’s “fusion center” and working with the Federal Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The President has no intention of releasing any detainees in the United States. Current law effectively bars the release of the Guantanamo detainees on U.S. soil, and the Federal Government has broad authority under current law to detain individuals during removal proceedings and pending the execution of final removal orders.

Watch the right ignore that particular law in its reaction.

Here’s the letter:

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