As we have often seen, this administration doesn't like to hear "NO" for any of their projects, and typically does a runaround behind closed doors (Executive Order, anyone?) to thwart any naysayers. Their latest attempt to fund a prison in Illinois for the GITMO bunch had the 9/11 Families up in arms.
9/11 Families for America yesterday released this statement:
Contacts: 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America email@example.com
9/11 Families Alert Congress: President Obama Will Use Thomson Prison Buy to Shut Gitmo
Washington, D.C., July 27, 2012
In a strongly worded letter to House Speaker John Boehner, more than 100 9/11 family members urged Congress to use its appropriations authority to prevent the Obama administration from purchasing Thomson Correctional Facility in Thomson, Ill. The families warned that acquiring the state prison would provide President Obama with a place to move 168 terrorist detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba inside the U.S. homeland, and would put Americans at risk."We believe that if Congress clears the way for the Thomson purchase," the letter stated, "the President will invoke executive authority, defy the wishes of the American people and close Guantanamo Bay detention center without notice, despite bi-partisan opposition from Congress." They called on members of Congress to join Rep. Frank Wolf, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, in rejecting the administration's request for hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase and retrofit the facility.In 2010, the Obama administration planned to purchase the Thomson prison and move detainees there but was repeatedly rebuffed by Congress. In 2011, Congress passed bi-partisan legislation barring the use of funds to transfer terrorist detainees into the country for any reason. The families' letter cited the President's signing statement on that legislation in which he called the provision "an extreme and risky encroachment on the authority of the executive branch."The President's extensive use of executive authority to nullify acts of Congress has led families of terrorism victims to believe that President Obama will circumvent Congress to fulfill his 2008 campaign promise to close Guantanamo."The Obama administration has a track record of trying to end run Congress," said Debra Burlingame, co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America. "The Department of Justice tried to sneak two Gitmo detainees into Virginia in May of 2009 despite the fact that both had admitted attending terrorist training camps in Tora Bora, Afghanistan led by terrorist leader Abdul Haq."The families' letter rejected the Obama administration's claim that the prison project will create an economic boon to the small rural community, calling it a "specious pretense" and "speculative." The federal government has spent more than $500 million to house terrorist detainees in a state-of-the-art facility at Guantanamo Bay, which includes a court house for detainees being tried under military commissions.
9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America
Then 14 hours ago, comes this:
Latest Thomson prison purchase request rejected
A Virginia congressman has once again rejected an Obama administration request to move ahead with purchase of the Thomson Correctional Center, saying he does not trust promises that it will not move foreign detainees there from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
In a letter Friday, Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., blasted the Justice Department, attaching a letter from the families of some of the 9/11 victims, which states that they, too, do not trust the administration not to move detainees to Illinois.
The rejection of the administration’s request was swift. The Justice Department sent it only the day before.
Sen. Dick Durbin’s office confirmed the request for a reprogramming of funds on Friday, and he and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn separately urged approval.
This is the second time Wolf has rejected the administration’s attempt to use existing funds to buy Thomson.
The purchase of the long-vacant prison 50 miles northeast of the Quad-Cities would add an estimated 1,100 jobs to the economically ailing region, and it has been a bipartisan priority of area lawmakers and public officials.
Members of the Quad-City area congressional delegation said Friday afternoon that they were disappointed in Wolf’s rejection and were preparing fuller responses.
Durbin, D-Ill., said in a statement that Wolf was allowing “tortured logic and his personal feelings” to get in the way. ...
Nice try, DOJ, but some of us ARE paying attention and will continue to do so.