Feds Tour Mich. Prison Eyed as New Gitmo

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2009 6:17 AM CDT
President Barack Obama caps his pen after he signed an executive order closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Obama administration officials are traveling to Michigan today to visit a maximum-security prison that could be used to hold some or all of the 229 terrorism suspects now at Guantanamo Bay, reports the Detroit News. Members of the Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security Departments are all touring the facility. Local politicians are anxious that the prison may close without the influx of new detainees.

Standish prison employs more than 300 people, the largest in the region, and city officials warn of dire economic consequences if the facility closes. Many locals are skittish about an influx from Guantanamo, with one resident warning that "jihadists love soft targets." But one state legislator dismissed their concerns: "I don't believe they are super human beings or any more dangerous than the Crips and the Bloods."