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Ryan worries about terrorists in Illinois

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Gazette Staff
November 18, 2009

Rep. Paul Ryan on Tuesday took a stand against a proposal to, as Ryan phrased it, "welcome detained terrorists to the Midwest."


Ryan was referring to the Obama administration's consideration of a northwestern Illinois prison to house prisoners when the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison closes.


In a news release, Ryan said his constituents would not welcome more than 100 of these prisoners so close to the Wisconsin border.


The prison is the Thomson Correctional Center, a high-security "supermax" facility in Thomson, Ill., about 115 miles from Janesville.


Janesville is on the far western side of Ryan's district.


Ryan, R-Wis., also joined critics of the president's decision to try some of the Guantanamo prisoners in federal court instead of military courts, as provided for in the 2006 Military Commissions Act.


The act established procedures for trying people who engaged in hostilities against the United States and do not belong to the regular armed forces of a country, such as members of al-Qaeda, Ryan said in a news release.


Military commissions still will be used for some detainees, according to press reports.


The commissions would be fair and effective "while also protecting American troops and intelligence agents fighting terrorism around the world. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that these military tribunals are consistent with our Constitution and in compliance with our international obligations," Ryan said.


"Congressman Ryan expressed grave concern that the president has chosen to bypass this military tribunal system, while at the same time bringing al-Qaeda terrorists a short drive from Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District," the news release states.


Press reports from Illinois indicate the issue is dividing politicians along party lines.



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