Charlie Savage reports that the Obama Administration will select the prison in Thomson, Illinois, to house Guantanamo detainees:

An administration official said President Obama had directed the federal government to proceed with acquiring the Thomson Correctional Center, a maximum-security prison in a rural village about 150 miles west of Chicago.

Gov. Patrick J. Quinn of Illinois and the state’s senior senator, Richard J. Durbin, will be briefed about the plan at the White House on Tuesday afternoon. The officials, both Democrats, have been enthusiastic supporters of bringing Guantánamo prisoners to Thomson, arguing that it would bring jobs to an impoverished part of the state […]

Top Illinois Republicans — including Representatives Donald Manzullo, whose district includes the prison, and Mark Steven Kirk, a candidate for the United States Senate seat once held by Mr. Obama — have denounced previous talk of such a move, saying it could make Illinois a target for terrorist attacks.

The Administration has not been clear on who would be sited at Thomson – only those facing criminal trial in the United States, those facing military commissions, or that “fifth group” made up of people who would not be prosecuted or released and just detained indefinitely as enemy combatants (this group could be on to Bagram AFB in Afghanistan). After the briefing with Durbin and Quinn (is Roland Burris sitting around today thinking “Excuse me, am I not a US Senator?”), we may know some more.

David Dayen

David Dayen

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