What Florence Is Talking About (Hint: It's Not Guantanamo Detainees)

June 2009

The first detainee to face a federal trial from the Guantanamo Bay military prison arrived in the U.S. yesterday, over the ongoing objections of some Congressional representatives and critics. "The transfer of Ahmed Ghailani to face capital charges in the 1998 East Africa bombings marked the first time a detainee who is not an American citizen has been brought from the prison in Cuba to the United States," writes The Washington Post. The trial is the very first step of President Obama's plan to close the Guantanamo holding center, but debate rages about where such high-level prisoners should be kept. Atop the list of possible destinations is Colorado's own Supermax in Florence, of which Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin (pictured) says, "No one has ever escaped" (via The Washington Post), despite the hysterical objections of Republicans. Residents in Florence tell the Los Angeles Times that they're fine with relocating detainees to their backyard, claiming "the issue has yet to replace cows, horses and the high school football team as a leading topic of conversation." There should be plenty of incarceration space: The state's own penitentiary in Cañon City is in the midst of and on schedule for an expansion of 967 more beds, according to the Pueblo Chieftain.