Obama brings the Git­molympics home

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Michelle Malkin

Pres­i­dent Obama’s home­town cronies lost their bid to bring the 2016 Olympic Games to the Windy City. But this week they got a con­so­la­tion prize: the Git­molympics. On Dec. 15, the White House went pub­lic with its of­fi­cial plans to pur­chase the Thom­son Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity from fi­nan­cially strapped Illi­nois to house Guan­tanamo Bay de­tainees. The War on Ter­ror meets the Chicago Way.

Po­lit­i­cal boost­ers of the Illi­nois bud­get bailout mas­querad­ing as a na­tional se­cu­rity pro­gram can’t wait to roll out the ji­hadi wel­come mat. Unions rep­re­sent­ing fed­eral prison work­ers also cheered the move. Lead­ing the lob­by­ing del­e­ga­tion for the new Gitmo-in-theheart­land lo­cated a few hours west of Chicago: Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Whip Dick Durbin, last seen on the in­ter­na­tional stage in 2005 liken­ing Amer­i­can in­ter­roga­tors and mil­i­tary staff at Guan­tanamo Bay to Nazis, Soviet gu­lag op­er­a­tors and geno­ci­dal ma­niac Pol Pot.

And co-chair­ing the bid to bring sus­pected ji­hadis to Amer­i­can soil: be­lea­guered Illi­nois Gov. Pat Quinn (D), who is sali­vat­ing at the prospect of an es­ti­mated $1 bil­lion in­jec­tion into the lo­cal econ­omy over four years. (Never mind that the jobs pre­dic­tions from the Coun­cil of Eco­nomic Ad­vis­ers use the same fuzzy math meth­ods that gave us bo­gus porku­lus num­bers.)

Sen­si­bly, the peo­ple of Illi­nois who will have to live with this raw deal aren’t wav­ing their pom­poms. A Ras­mussen poll shows that 51 per­cent of vot­ers in the state op­pose the trans­fer of sus­pected ter­ror­ists from the Cuban de­ten­tion fa­cil­ity to their back­yard — in­clud­ing 70 per­cent of Repub­li­cans, 37 per­cent of Democrats and 57 per­cent of in­de­pen­dents.

Left-wing ad­vo­cates of clos­ing Gitmo ac­cuse th­ese Amer­i­cans of “NIMBYism” and ground­less fear. But can you blame any­one who watched the Crash­er­gate de­ba­cle at the White House or the Scare Force One de­ba­cle in New York City for chok­ing on dis­be­lief when Team Obama prom­ises air­tight safety, se­cu­rity and com­pe­tence?

More­over, Illi­nois is al­ready suf­fer­ing its own se­vere pris­onover­crowd­ing cri­sis — which Mr. Quinn has al­le­vi­ated by se­cretly re­leas­ing more than 850 in­mates, in­clud­ing vi­o­lent of­fend­ers, since Septem­ber, ac­cord­ing to the As­so­ci­ated Press.

GOP gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­date Dan Proft pointed out that “the state’s 28 cur­rent pris­ons are 32 per­cent over ca­pac­ity. Why not al­le­vi­ate the over­crowd­ing and bring the Thom­son prison on­line” for ex­ist­ing crim­i­nals in­stead of im­port­ing them from abroad? Kirk Dil­lard, an­other Repub­li­can can­di­date, blasted Mr. Quinn’s fis­cal des­per­a­tion: “I think al Qaeda needs to stay in Cuba. It shows how pa­thetic the state of Illi­nois’ fi­nances are, where we have to stand with our hat in hand and have the fed­eral gov­ern­ment give us money to open a pen­i­ten­tiary that the Democrats have let sit va­cant for years.”

Obama of­fi­cials stress that the prison would house Gitmo de­tainees sep­a­rately from fed­eral in­mates, and that the two would be “man­aged sep­a­rately” with “no op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­act” be­tween them. Which en­tirely misses the point that Gitmo de­tainees’ lawyers and trans­la­tors have been the pri­mary se­cu­rity con­cerns — not just other in­mates:

Last month, ji­hadist-en­abling lawyer Lynne Ste­wart was fi­nally or­dered to jail af­ter her con­vic­tion in 2005 for aid­ing and abet­ting im­pris­oned blind Egyp­tian sheik Omar Ab­del Rah­man by smug­gling coded mes­sages of vi­o­lence to ter­ror­ist fol­low­ers abroad — in vi­o­la­tion of an ex­plicit pledge to abide by her client’s court-or­dered iso­la­tion.

Ear­lier this sum­mer, the Jus­tice Depart­ment launched an in­quiry into pho­to­graphs of un­der­cover CIA of­fi­cials and other in­tel­li­gence per­son­nel taken by ACLU-spon­sored re­searchers as­sist­ing the de­fense team of Guan­tanamo Bay de­tainees. The pic­tures of covert Amer­i­can CIA of­fi­cers — “in some cases sur­rep­ti­tiously taken out­side their homes,” ac­cord­ing to the Wash­ing­ton Post — were shown to ji­hadi sus­pects tied to the 9/11 at­tacks in or­der to iden­tify the in­ter­roga­tors.

As in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist Paul Sperry re­ported re­cently, a num­ber of Ara­bic and Pashtu in­ter­preters who served at Gitmo are “un­der ac­tive in­ves­ti­ga­tion for omit­ting valu­able in­tel­li­gence from their trans­la­tions of de­tainee in­ter­ro­ga­tions, among other se­cu­rity breaches.”

The cor­rup­to­cratic At­tor­ney Gen­eral Eric Holder is, of course, in no po­si­tion to raise any prin­ci­ple ob­jec­tions to the Gitmo-in-the-heart­land plans. Re­mem­ber: He served as se­nior part­ner with Cov­ing­ton and Burl­ing — the pres­ti­gious Wash­ing­ton, D.C., law firm that rep­re­sents 17 Ye­me­nis cur­rently held at Gitmo. And top at­tor­neys at his Jus­tice Depart­ment have had to re­cuse them­selves nu­mer­ous times over their con­flicts of in­ter­est in Gitmo-re­lated cases. Holder has failed to pro­vide a full re­cusal list of all the Gitmo de­tainee cases from which cur­rent Jus­tice Depart­ment po­lit­i­cal ap­pointees have had to re­cuse them­selves.

Mean­while, Team Obama is now cham­pi­oning the very same in­def­i­nite de­ten­tion pow­ers for de­tainees deemed un­tri­able that it con­demned the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion for ex­er­cis­ing — and for which it tar­geted Gitmo for clo­sure in the first place. Give the White House a gold medal for costly in­co­her­ence and reck­less re­dun­dance.

Michelle Malkin is a na­tion­ally syndicated colum­nist.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.