Illinois Ex-Prosecutors Support Civilian Prisons For Gitmo Detainees
By Andrew Ramonas | November 30, 2021 6:40 pm

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.

Thomas P. Sullivan (Jenner & Block)

Thomas P. Sullivan (Jenner & Block)

Dan K. Webb (Winston & Strawn)

Dan K. Webb (Winston & Strawn)

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.

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One Comment

  1. James French says:

    All of these distinguished members of the trial lawyers association stand to make a small fortune defending the Guantanamo prisoners here in civilian trials in Illinois if they are brought to Thomson prison. Profits aside, I would ask, do any of them have any Middle East intelligence expertise, much less a military combat or intelligence background? I don’t think so. Consequently, I believe that they are dangerously naive in their lack of imagination regarding the incredible and certain dangers that bringing Guantanamo prisoners to Thomson will promote.
    First of all, it will not insure domestic tranquility, a constitutional requirement for elected officials and officers of the court alike. It wil not promote the general welfare, since it is going to require spending millions upon millions of new federal dollars to equip and station that military combat battalion and other forces that will be required to guard the Guantanamo terrorists. The prison is built to keep men in, but not built to keep others out.
    Let us not forget, these are not simple federal prisoners. These are sworn enemies of the United States, who will do all they can to kill all the Americans they can as soon as they can.
    A simpe attack upon the prison by no more than a squad of terrorist allies, with a truck full of fertilizer explosives could blow through the gates and allow the slaugher of the guards. The second truck in that attack would carry guns, grenades, and machine guns to equip the Gunatanmo terrorists. Now, in a matter of minutes, instead of prisoners, we would have a fighting force of some 200 trained and expert soldiers, in rural Illinois, bent on killing, robing, raping, and pillaging for as long as they can and against all that they can. What good would your letters do on that day? Have the terrorists read them and agreed to behave themselves?
    I would ask you, Mr. Webb and Mr. Sullivan and others, quit thinking about this as a profit proposal. Keep thinking about this as a war, and treat these Guantanamo prisoners with the respect that any powerful enemy deserves, not as men in cages, but as fierce fighters, intent upon killing us all.
    Sincerely yours,
    James French, Dakota, IL

The Senate Democratic leader describes the Republicans' refusal to hold hearings on President Obama's eventual Supreme Court nominee "historically unbelievable and historically unprecedented."


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