US Attorney General Eric Holder Tuesday tried to put to rest the idea that terrorism suspects could be housed at an Illinois prison. Holder says the federal government still wants to buy Thomson Correctional Center, a barely used, state-of-the-art prison in northwest Illinois. The Obama administration originally wanted to transfer terrorism detainees there from Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba, but backed down in the face of stiff opposition. US Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, pressed Holder to be clear on that point:
DURBIN: "I'd like to ask you as Attorney General, will you pledge that under no circumstances will the Obama administration seek to transfer detainees from Guantanamo to Thomson, regardless of what the law permits?"
HOLDER: "That is an accurate statement of our position."
Instead of terrorism suspects, the Obama administration wants to use Thomson to house maximum-security federal inmates. But critics remain unsure.
The state of Illinois built the prison in 2001, but has never had the money to fully open it.
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