Two former Illinois U.S. Attorneys today encouraged the state’s congressional delegation and public officials to house Guantanamo Bay detainees in federal and state prisons.
Ex-Northern District of Illinois U.S. Attorneys Thomas P. Sullivan and Dan K. Webb wrote in a letter that they support placing Guantanamo Bay detainees in a Thomson, Ill., state prison. The prison in Northern Illinois is being discussed as a possible facility to house some of the roughly 200 terrorism suspects still held in the Guantanamo Bay military prison, which President Barack Obama ordered closed by January 2010.
“We support trials for the detainees in our federal courts, which means that they must be brought to the U.S. to stand trial and thus must be housed in appropriate prisons in this country,” they wrote in the letter, which was also signed by former Rep. Abner Mikva (D-Ill.)
The three Illinoisans also endorsed a letter in support of Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to to try 9/11 “mastermind” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other suspected terrorists in a New York City federal court. Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) submitted the letter into the record at a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the Justice Department earlier this month. The letter was signed by more than 130 people, including 25 former U.S. Attorneys.