Monday, August 03, 2009

Standish Would Welcome Gitmo Detainees, Hoekstra Objects

So many questions surround creating a Gitmo North here in Michigan that I keep going back and forth about this. The concept of holding people indefinitely without trial is especially bothersome, but the thought of letting these guys go is equally troubling. If they are going to come to America eventually, why not create the jobs here? As long as the state doesn't have to pay one thin dime to do this, and, we can hire Michigan workers to both build the detention center necessary and guard/maintain the place, it really comes down to the community of Standish, and what they want.

According to the AP, they want this to happen. Standish will lose 25% of its tax base and its main employer if the prison closes, and they are desperate for the jobs.

A number of residents in the Michigan town of Standish say they'd welcome detainees from Guantanamo Bay with open arms to save their biggest employer - a state prison.

The Standish Maximum Correctional Facility is among several in the state scheduled for closure because of budget cuts.

Prison workers and some local officials say keeping the jobs it provides would trump any fears about having suspected terrorists around.

Because of the legal problems that surround having a Gitmo on American soil, it might be better if we take the prisoners from California instead - no word yet on whether that deal will happen or not. If this goes to Leavenworth, certain Republicans will scream that Michigan "lost jobs!", like it was an auto factory or something. You just know it.

Not Pete Hoekstra though. Twitter Pete threw a major fit over this today. At least he finally took a stand on something, instead of playing both sides of the issue like he usually does. Too bad he feels the need to play the "terror" card again - it's sooooo 2004, and really not the issue.

"I intend to do everything possible to prevent it from happening," Hoekstra said in a statement. "We need to preserve jobs in Michigan, but turning our state into a terrorist penal colony is not how to attract new families and business investment."

Pete, we aren't going to turn it into a tourist attraction, honest. You won't see it on the Upper Hand commercials. Get a grip. And they won't escape. Mike Rogers plays the fear card as well; "Bringing terrorists into the state totally disregards the safety and security of Michigan families", like they would be paroled right onto the streets of Standish or something. No, that won't happen.

If Standish wants it, and we can make a buck on it, why not? As much as I hate to side with Engler (just kill me now) - this might have merit, just as long as the feds pay for the thing. Not one cent of state money should be spent on the facility or its upkeep. Current workers get first crack at the jobs, even if it takes specialized training.

Sure wish we could get an answer from California. That would be so much easier, provided they can pay their bill, of course.