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Majority in Illinois Opposes Gitmo on the Mississippi

5:46 PM, Dec 12, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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Rasmussen reports that 51 percent of voters in Illinois oppose the Obama administration's apparent plan to move the detainees now being held at Gitmo to the Thomson Correctional Facility in Western Illinois. Just 39 percent of the state's voters support the plan. It's yet another item on the Obama agenda that is opposed by a majority of the very same voters who get to live with the fallout. Inside the numbers:

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of female voters think housing Guantanamo prisoners at the Thomson facility is a bad idea, but a plurality (49%) of men disagrees.

Seventy percent (70%) of Republicans and 57% of voters not affiliated with either major party are against moving the prisoners to their state. Forty-nine percent (49%) of Democrats support the proposal, while 37% are against it.

Less than half of Democrats support the plan! There are any number of reasons why Illinois voters would oppose the Obama administration's decision to bring hardened al Qaeda terrorists to their state, but it doesn't help that supporters of the plan are pitching it as a jobs program. The way Democrats talk about the economic upside of putting Gitmo inside the continental United States, you'd think it was the centerpiece of their economic recovery plan. And yet we're talking about a few hundred jobs at the cost of closing a facility that's already been built and paid for, that functions efficiently and professionally in the administration's own assessment, and that has a perfect safety record -- no escapes. In exchange the Democrats promise to renovate a facility that was never intended to hold trained terrorists (remember Officer Pepe?) and that, at best, will keep Americans as safe as the current facility does. At worst...endless legal challenges, daily protests, and the possibility of escape if the ACLU doesn't force the military to give the detainees asylum and bus fare to Chicago first.

Rasmussen notes that just 30 percent of Americans agree with the president's contention that Gitmo weakens America's national security, but the irony of all this is that the administration has no plan to try the detainees who would be transferred to Illinois. So what's the point of all this? Does the president believe that holding detainees at Gitmo weakens American national security and undermines America's image abroad, or is it the denial of due process rights that Obama and his supporters have a problem with? Because if it's the latter, then this administration is spending a whole lot of money and a whole lot of political capital on a solution that's no solution at all.

And to think, Obama was supposed to bring the Olympics to Illinois. Instead his home state will be getting a maximum security military prison populated by some of the world's most dangerous terrorists.