Contrary to a Chicago Tribune report that 10th Congressional candidate Robert "Bob" Dold had split with the viewpoint of Congressman Mark Kirk and did not oppose the White House plan (supported by Governor Pat Quinn and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin) to ship former Guantanamo Bay terrorist suspects to the Thomson Illinois prison, Dold sent out a press release today denying that such was his position.
Here's the Dold press release:
Dold: Keep Terrorists out of Illinois Prisons
Republican Robert Dold (R-10) for Congress, is staunchly opposed to the White House’s proposal to transfer terrorists housed at Guantanamo Bay to an Illinois prison.
“I’m opposed to closing Guantanamo Bay—the U.S. spent $200 million on the facility and many of its initial issues have been corrected,” Dold said. “I, in no way, support the transfer of terrorists to a prison in Illinois.”
Dold continued, “My concern is not about terrorists escaping the maximum security facility, but about them receiving medical treatment at the North Chicago Military VA hospital, which is in the 10th Congressional District. I’m also concerned that relatives or acquaintances who visit them in prison could potentially become a security threat to our community.”
My stance on this issue has been consistent since it came to light, and is posted on the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board questionnaire:
UPDATED: Backyard Conservative has a statement from 10th District candidate Dr. Arie Friedman (which appears to have been written before Dold sent out his press release above -- in fact, it may have helped prompt it, as you will see):
Arie Friedman stands firm against transferring GITMO prisoners to Illinois
Highland Park, IL - Candidate for Congress in the 10th District and former Naval Officer Arie Friedman today strongly rebuked his fellow candidates, Bob Dold and Dick Green, for telling the Chicago Tribune that housing jihadists in Illinois was not a problem. "I don't fear that they're going to escape from a maximum security, a super-max facility. That's not my concern," said Dold. "The choice to move prisoners to Illinois would be 'a reasonable approach to due process'" according to Green. Stated Friedman: "I am stunned and disappointed that my fellow Republicans can't see the bulls eye that will be placed on Chicago and the northern suburbs if Al-Qaida suspects are housed in Illinois. Take into account the large Jewish community and abundance of synagogues in the area - this would be a no-brainer target for Al-Qaida."
In an earlier statement Friedman expanded upon the issue: "Like Congressmen Manzullo and Kirk, I find it unacceptable for the federal government to bring these dangerous prisoners to our region. Additionally, I find it difficult to comprehend that our own governor would even consider the possibility that housing Gitmo prisoners in Illinois would represent a meaningful job creation opportunity. Bringing these enemy combatants to the region would not enhance our national interests or international standing. Rather, it would put the Thompson Correctional Center directly in the sights of terrorists the world over. Worse, the targeted communities would not be strictly limited to the immediate area around the prison. As far as the world is concerned, the Thompson prison is located in Chicagoland and all of us would be possible targets. Lastly, as a member of the Jewish community, I am surprised and disappointed that Governor Quinn does not understand that our synagogues and religious schools will be the specific targets of terrorists wanting to make an international statement. We do not need terrorists in the 10th District's backyard."