While all of us are exchanging gifts and Santa is flying all over the world to give our little ones the presents they've asked for, the people of Thomson, Illinois have already gotten their lump of coal. Thanks to the Obama Administration, their Christmas presents will be the former prison population of Guantanamo Bay.
You see, Thomson Illinois has a vacant penitentiary that was built before State funds were so tight. You know, before Bush's recession. Despite the fact that the Illinois prison system is 34% over-crowded, the Thomson facility will finally be put to use to bailout Obama from not fulfilling his promise to close Gitmo. And, with this facility finally being opened, the people of Thomson are already counting all the new jobs they think will be created.
The Thomson correctional facility will be taken off the State's hands when the Federal Government takes it over. Whether or not the State gets what they originally paid for it is not known. Given that beggars can't be choosers, my guess is that the Feds will get the facility for a song.
Now, as for jobs, I don't know if the military will maintain control of the Gitmo transferees or not. But, if they do, the promise of substantial new jobs will pretty much go out the window. Sure, there might be a few "contractor" positions for the residents of Thomson and the surrounding communities but, we're probably not talking about a large increase in employment. According to Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, area jobs from opening this prison might be 1200 to 1900 jobs. The rest of the 3800 planned position would all be transferred in from other Federal sites. Certainly not enough to keep Illinois from possible bankruptcy in the next few months. They, like California, are on the list of about 5 states that are in serious financial trouble (Click to See Full Story: "FY 2011 BUDGET HEADED TOWARD BANKRUPTCY OR MASSIVE TAX INCREASE").
The biggest gift that the people of Thomson might get is the fact that their community might become a magnet for other "terrorists" who might want to score points with their God by attempting to free their fellow soldiers in the jihad against the West. While I am sure that security will be high, one can only think back to incidents like the U.S.S. Cole where a whole shipload of military couldn't prevent a small boat from taking out a massive destroyer. After all, when these bad guys were housed at Gitmo, it was a little hard for other terrorists to conduct a beach landing and free their brethren. Now, they only have a remote town in northern Illinois to contend with. What a bonanza.
However, I don't think we need worry about other jihadists freeing these guys. I think we should be more concerned about the ACLU suing, and with the help of some activist Federal Judge (probably Clinton appointed) ultimately letting these people go. Now that they are literally on U.S. soil, the ACLU will probably be able to argue that these prisoners have rights under our Constitution; starting with a writ of habeas corpus for unlawful detention. The bottom line is that they will argue that these people should have all the rights of any person residing within the borders of the United States; citizen or not. With the right Judge, they will probably win.
Yes sir, the Obama Administration not only gave the people of Thomson a lump of coal for Christmas but, also, all the people of the United States. I would be very surprised if this new Gitmo-North stunt turns out to be a good decision. All the President is doing here is merely making a cosmetic change, that could actually wind up being, worst case, a perfunctory decision that will come back to haunt us.