used to come from all 49 states to the boom town of
. Once known for its towering steel mills, it now draws
families for the late-term, no parental consent needed
abortion mill. Currently, the steel mill furnaces lay idle
with no business. On the other hand, the abortion mill is the
only thriving mill in this deplorable town.
already welcomes drugs, gambling, sex, crime, and abortion
because money talks. So why not welcome Jihad?
Jihad has long been declared on babies nestled in their
mother’s wombs here in
as thousands every year flock across state lines to
to kill their preborn babies. “Sure!
Come on over!” How fitting that
may also become the concrete resort for Islamic terrorists.
, which contains
, has been referred to in our nation as the “judicial
hellhole.” You can add to its credits the capital of
vice. Anything and anyone can be bought; just name your price.
Lincoln must be turning in his grave to see such depravity and
the immoral enslavement of our state and country he presided,
fought, and won a war over. Now governing officials are
embracing and romancing the idea of bringing Gitmo to an idle
standing prison located just outside
don’t have to worry about terrorists coming to
…the domestic ones are already here. They’re called
abortionists. How prophetic. We reap what we sow. Our enemies
are emboldened when they become a part of our nation’s
history. How do you sell evil? It’s all in the packaging.
Town sees jobs,
Republicans see security risk in plan to move detainees to
Parsons, Katherine Skiba and Joel Hood
November 15, 2009
THOMSON, Ill. --
President Barack Obama's idea of moving suspected terrorists
from the Guantanamo Bay detention center to a northwest
Illinois prison may face its biggest opposition hundreds of
miles away in Washington.
residents and leaders in tiny Thomson, quickly warmed to the
prospect of finally putting the long-languishing penitentiary
to greater use, relishing the promise of jobs in a down
"It would help the businesses here, and God knows we
could use that," said Kay Lawton, 59, eating breakfast
Saturday at a restaurant a few hundred yards from the
. "It doesn't matter to me who they bring here."
But for those detainees to arrive from
, the White House first has to persuade Congress to buy into
the notion of holding suspected terrorists on
soil. Hours after the story was reported by the Tribune, the
administration began a low-key sales job of the idea it
floated Friday, releasing estimates that envisioned an
economic boon for the region.
Illinois Republicans immediately assailed the idea of putting
terrorism suspects at Thomson. Rep. Mark Kirk, a Republican
U.S. Senate candidate, circulated a letter among
' congressional delegation urging the White House to not
"If your administration brings al-Qaida terrorists to
Illinois, our state and the Chicago metropolitan area will
become ground zero for Jihadist terrorist plots, recruitment
and radicalization," Kirk, a five-term congressman, wrote
in the letter to Obama.
Democrats largely ceded the debate to Republicans for much of
Saturday. Gov. Pat Quinn plans a three-city tour Sunday to
talk about Thomson. In a statement, Quinn framed the issue as
showing off the prison to the federal government to help with
"overcrowding" -- not mentioning the idea of holding
terrorism suspects in
By late afternoon, Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin defended
the idea, citing statistics that 350 inmates convicted of
terrorism are locked up in federal prisons, including 35 in
"To those who say
prisons cannot safely hold high-risk terror suspects, I say
look at the facts," he said.
The battle lines started to form in the wake of the White
House's revelation Friday that the largely vacant prison near
is a leading candidate to house a "limited number"
of terrorism suspects. On Saturday, Durbin put the number at
"fewer than 100."
For months, the administration has faced a knot of problems as
it works to close the detention center on the naval base in
. Thomson, a maximum-security prison roughly 150 miles west of
, could be turned into a super-maximum facility with a unit
for some of the
Unclear is how many would be transferred to
and whether Thomson would be the sole domestic prison for that
purpose. Several other sites have been under review by the
U.S. Departments of Justice and Defense, and local officials
around the country have volunteered their communities as host
And so it is that Thomson could figure prominently on a
political issue of global scope.
has emerged as an international symbol of
anti-terror and detention policies; Obama said its name was
"a rallying cry" for al-Qaida as he ordered its
closure shortly after taking office.
But the shutdown has proved hard to accomplish, primarily
because there's no simple way to relocate the more than 200
detainees now housed there. Foreign allies are open to
accepting some, but Obama has had to ask for their help while
might not be able to do the same.
As distasteful as some find the idea of incarcerating
soil, prisons are an inviting idea in some remote areas
suffering economic hardship. Thomson, with a population of
less than 600, is a good example.
On the north end of town is the sprawling prison, a series of
drab, low-slung stone buildings that opened to great fanfare
in 2001. The $145 million prison complex promised to bring
hundreds of jobs. But that never happened. Since the
construction wrapped up eight years ago, the only portion of
the prison that has opened is the minimum-security wing. The
prison's state-of-the-art maximum-security wing remains
vacant, a casualty of the state's shifting correctional
The town was abuzz Saturday with news that the prison is being
looked at by the Obama administration.
"People have come here, they've bought homes, and when
the prison never opened they simply had to leave," said
Rosie Rojas, a waitress at the
restaurant. "Everybody is fighting for jobs, and it seems
like that prison has the potential to bring a lot of
Brad Spencer, a volunteer firefighter and resident of nearby
Savanna, predicted opposition would surface.
"It don't bother me none, but this is a small town and a
lot of people have a conservative outlook on something like
this," said Spencer as he worked the back room of Schafer
Fisheries Inc. in nearby
Thomson Village President Jerry "Duke" Hebeler said
Saturday that state officials last month pitched to him the
idea of bringing detainees to the prison. He welcomes the
economic development potential.
"A murderer is a murderer no matter where he's
from," Hebeler said. "That's the way I look at
The prison would generate 2,300 to 3,200 jobs in the area and
pump $790 million to $1 billion into the local economy in its
first four years, according to a White House estimate
generated at the request of Quinn and Durbin.
Republican U.S. Rep. Donald Manzullo, whose district includes
Thomson, acknowledged the "extraordinary
unemployment" in the area but said he opposed the
"The issue is: 'Are you going to exchange the promise of
jobs for national security?' National security trumps
everything." he said.
Manzullo, who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee,
said he was concerned that "al-Qaida would follow
al-Qaida" to northwest
if Thomson took
detainees. All seven House Republicans from
signed Kirk's protest letter to Obama.
Among Illinois Democrats, U.S. Reps. Bill Foster, who
represents a far west suburban district, and Phil Hare, whose
district is adjacent to Manzullo's, said they needed more
Democratic Rep. Melissa Bean of
said she remains "opposed to transferring
, or anywhere in the
, without substantial assurances regarding potential security
The White House is working from the understanding that it will
need to sort things out with Congress if the Thomson idea is
In the White House view, federal law bars the transfer of
detainees to the
for any purpose other than prosecution. But administration
officials said they have been told by congressional leaders
that legislators would consider lifting the restriction if the
administration presented a final plan to close
that included the new detention location.
Political considerations also will play out in
. Quinn, who will offer his views Sunday, is running for
election next year. Republican foes showed they won't be shy
about making Thomson a campaign issue.
Noting Quinn's effort to release nonviolent inmates early as a
budget-cutting move, former state GOP Chairman Andy McKenna
said, "It appears Gov. Quinn's only plan to cut spending
and create jobs is free prisoners and bring terrorists to