McConnell Denounces Gitmo Transfer

Posted December 15, 2009 at 9:23am

Updated: 10:30 a.m.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday denounced an expected decision by the Obama administration to transfer prisoners from the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, prison to an Illinois facility. The White House is expected to announce its decision Tuesday to acquire the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, Ill. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Gov. Pat Quinn (D) are scheduled to be briefed by administration officials on the issue.McConnell has been the GOP’s lead critic of the administration’s plan to close the Guantánamo Bay detention center and in a statement released Tuesday morning rejected the plan.“The American people and a bipartisan majority of the Congress have already rejected bringing terrorists to U.S. soil for long-term detention, and current law prohibits it. The administration has failed to explain how transferring terrorists to Gitmo North will make Americans safer than keeping these terrorists off of our shores in the secure facility in Cuba,— McConnell said.Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) reiterated his support for the transfer in a statement: “I support the transfer of inmates to the Thomson Correctional Center, and I have full confidence that the facility will hold these terrorism suspects safely and securely. At a time when Illinois is struggling with 11 percent unemployment, this transfer will be a great economic benefit to the state by creating over 3,000 well paying-jobs and bringing in valuable federal dollars to fund local facility operations,— Burris said.