Figuring out where to place prisoners now being held at Guantanamo Bay could be a legal nightmare when Gitmo closes; but the political obstacles could be even more tricky. Thanks to the high profile nature of the prisoners, as well as their characterizations (exaggerated or not) as the most dangerous people in the world, it will be hard to convince cities or towns to keep the prisoners within their limits.
One Republican, Florida Congressman Bill Young, came up with a creative location — Alcatraz! Unfortunately, the island in the San Francisco Bay, which was once an infamous US prison, is now a money-making tourist destination.
When it comes to actual functioning maximum security prisons on US soil, Democratic Pennsylvania Representative John Murtha pointed out last week that “there are thousands of dangerous prisoners being held securely behind bars in supermax prisons across the United States." In fact, Murtha said he would be willing to accept the suspected terrorists in his district. The invitation has some local officials excited about the job and revenue potential, since a maximum security prison would have to be built first.
Would you protest if Guantanamo Bay prisoners came to a prison near you?