Voluntarily bringing Guantanamo terrorists into the United States increases the chances they will be ordered released into the country.
One of the most dangerous possibilities related to the transfer of Guantanamo detainees into the United States is that it may give judges the opportunity to order their release into the United States. Where detainees have sought a court order of release into the country, the main case denying that order turned on the fact that the detainees were outside the country. In that case, a Guantanamo terrorist cleared for transfer asked a federal judge last year to order him released into the United States, which the judge ordered. Thankfully, an appellate judge corrected that error on the grounds that a judge could not order the government to accept someone into the United States from outside the country. It is not clear that the same result obtains once the Administration has voluntarily brought Guantanamo detainees into the country.
Even though the President has confidently declared that he will not release detainees into the United States, he may be confronted with a court order directing just that once the Administration voluntarily brings al Qaeda terrorists to the United States. The bottom line is, even though Democrats state that President Obama would never release a terrorist into the United States, it is no longer exclusively his choice once he voluntarily brings them here. It makes no sense for the political branches to subcontract to the courts the issue of controlling U.S. borders and administering the admission of aliens, especially enemy aliens.
Creating Guantanamo in Illinois will not appease the Democratic base.
It appears that the Thomson correctional facility will be modified to a level of security that is "beyond supermax." Given this description, it seems highly unlikely that those opposed to the Guantanamo facility will accept law of war detentions of al Qaeda terrorists at another facility other than Guantanamo. For example, Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights has characterized the President's detention proposals in the past as "closing Guantanamo physically, but repackaging it" elsewhere. The ACLU of Colorado has called Supermax "simply another form of torture."
Creating Guantanamo in Illinois certainly will not appease al Qaeda.
Today's announcement once again raises the canard that closing Guantanamo will remove an al Qaeda recruiting tool, as if al Qaeda would not continue to target the United States for terror attacks once Guantanamo is closed. This argument is belied by all experience with Islamist terrorists, given that the allegedly motivating factor of Guantanamo did not exist at the time of the following:
o 1983: Beirut Marine Barracks bombing, killing 241 U.S. marines
o 1992: approximate beginning of bin Laden's calls to attack United States
o 1993: first World Trade Center attack
o 1995: car bombing at U.S. facility in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia