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Opening Arguments

Prisoners of fear

Good news -- the Guantanamo problem has been solved; Terre Haute will take all the prisoners:

When the location of Terre Haute's new Wal-Mart Supercenter came under debate three years ago, City Councilman Rich Dunkin received more than 300 phone calls about the issue.

So one would think he'd be getting an earful over the prospect of moving suspected terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to a federal penitentiary in his district.

But Dunkin says he hasn't heard a peep.

Nationwide, the idea of closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center has raised concerns that moving some of its roughly 240 detainees to U.S. prisons could pose safety risks to Americans living near those high-security facilities.

But in Terre Haute, whose Federal Correctional Complex has become a speculative candidate to receive some of the detainees, it's more a shrug of the shoulder than a hot topic of political debate.

[. . .]

Many experts agree that fears about detainees escaping or plotting a terrorist attack are overstated. That's particularly true, they say, at a penitentiary such as Terre Haute, which already has housed high-profile terrorists, as well as inmates on federal Death Row.

With all due respect to Terre Haute residents' calmness and the "experts" downplaying of fears, I don't think most people are worried about the prisoners themselves but the prospect that they might be a magnet for extremists looking for an excuse to do violence. But, since the very idea of people crossing our southern border illegally and making their way to Indiana is preposterous, and given that fanatics motivated by religious zealotry would never commit unreasonable acts like, oh, flying planes into buildings, I suppose we'd have to call that another unreasonabl


Bob G.
Mon, 06/08/2009 - 9:53am

Welcome back, Leo...
(good name for a TV show)

As to the prisoner gig...I'm with you that people don't think the "detainees" pose a DIRECT threat.

Hell, they could all be shanked in the prison courtyard during "exercise"...
(probem solved)

Betcha there are those dubious people currently ON THE STREETS of Terre Haute that pose a MORE imminent threat to the rest of the population...

But it's not like the city is overly concerned about THAT either, right?