Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick questioned the Administration's judgment on the potential GITMO move to Illinois, and, the new information coming to light today revealing the Administration's proposal to hold Osama Bin Laden on trial on American soil.
"For the past four years, in addition to proposing that terror suspects detained as military criminals be held for trial in our domestic system in New York, the Administration has been trying to find ways to bring GITMO prisoners onto American soil, something which I strongly oppose," said Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, "Furthermore, we learn today that the Administration strongly backed a proposal to hold a trial for Osama Bin Laden on American soil as opposed to the military courts at GITMO where he belonged, should he have been captured."
The Administration's decision to purchase the Thomson Correctional Center, an under-used state prison 150 miles west of Chicago, is believed by many Members of Congress to indicate that the Administration intends to circumvent the will of the Congress. Furthermore, a book to be released by the widely-esteemed Mark Bowden, author of "Black Hawk Down"' details today in his new book "The Finish" that the Administration wished to hold a trial Osama Bin Laden on American soil.
"When I visited GITMO in May of 2011, I saw firsthand the approximately 170 unlawful combatants being held at the time, including terrorist trainers, terrorist financiers, bomb makers, terrorist recruiters and former Bin Laden bodyguards," said Fitzpatrick, "The unprivileged enemy belligerents have been captured by the United States while fighting for al-Qaida or the Taliban, neither of which abide by the laws of war, especially Osama Bin Laden."
"JTF GTMO, through its military and government employees, provides an invaluable support to intelligence collection, law enforcement and war crimes investigations. The information provided by detainees has proven critical to our defense and security and will continue to be so as we defeat violent extremists that threaten to do us harm," said Fitzpatrick, "There is no reason for these murderers and thugs to be brought to old state prisons in the United States, and, I question the judgment of the Administration to continue proposing to hold domestic trials for terrorists."