In case you missed it (ICYMI), Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) recently voted to allow terror detainees housed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to be transferred to the U.S. As I previously mentioned on our statewide radio talk show, this prompted one listener (Kevin in Billings @KWJams) to ask, “Is Tester wanting to fill Hardin prison with detainees?”
Specifically, the description of the vote reads:
To prohibit the use of funds for the transfer or release of certain individuals from United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Tester was in the minority on this vote; however, as Fox News reported:
The Senate has passed a measure that prevents terrorist detainees from being transferred to facilities on U.S. soil, a day after it was revealed a prominent Democrat had commissioned a federal report to identify U.S. locations that may be suitable for housing Guantanamo prisoners.
The vote comes the day after Fox News revealed exclusively that longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., had commissioned the report and concluded the option to house Guantanamo prisoners in the U.S. is viable, despite congressional opposition to such a plan when the Obama administration proposed it.
FLASHBACK: Time Mag’s 2009 piece, “The Montana Town That Wanted to Be Gitmo“
Two years ago, the town (pop. 3,600) celebrated the completion of the state-of-the-art private jail capable of holding 464 inmates. Convinced that it would provide steady employment for over 100 locals, as well as accompanying economic benefits, the residents financed it through the sale of revenue bonds and turned it over to a for-profit prison-management corporation. On a 40-acre field at the edge of town where pronghorn antelope once grazed, they built it. But nobody came.
And then, a new source of hope appeared. A campaign pledge from President Barack Obama to close the U.S. facility holding suspected terrorists at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, became an executive order. Quickly, the jail’s backers made a new pitch. Why not house those 240 detainees at Two Rivers? Hardin’s City Council last week passed a resolution to entice the detainees their way, saying they could provide “a safe and secure environment, pending trial and/or deportation.” Hardin naturally assumed their federal politicians would lobby their cause.