Gitmo prisoners in Wisconsin? Yes please!


Now that Republicans and Democrats have agreed that opium dealers from Afghanistan are infinitely more threatening than crack dealers from Kenosha, it’s nice to discover an analysis of the Guantanamo Bay dilemma that is free of the media gossip about what figure is going to turn up at your local Open Pantry.

You see, despite what the nattering nabobs of negativism say in D.C., terrorist suspects are more than welcome in small town prisons. So explains Eric J. Williams in the Capital Times:

Outside Washington, town after town, from Colorado to Montana to Tennessee, proposed bringing the enemy combatants to their communities.

The public’s surprise that small towns are vying for Guantanamo inmates just demonstrates how little urban and suburban Americans understand about rural America. For the rural communities, prisons and prisoners are about the promise of more jobs and more money.

One was Florence, Colo., where some of the current controversy is focused. It is the home to ADX Florence, the “Alcatraz of the Rockies,” where the federal government houses its most disruptive inmates under supermax conditions. It is home to “Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski, would-be shoe-bomber Richard Reid and 9/11 co-conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, among others. And the town of Florence actually raised money to pay the federal government for the privilege of housing these inmates.

In the past, the government bore the burden of convincing towns of the benefits of having a prison. Today, communities must show the government why they are the best location for a prison.

Too true. In Wisconsin rural communities got so prison-crazed that the state eliminated the requirement that prison legislation be accompanied by a cost estimate.

Yes, in Wisconsin every single piece of legislation is required to include a cost estimate – except crime bills. That way legislators can brag about how much they’re cracking down on bad guys, about the new prisons being built in their districts, but they don’t have to face up to the cost for the tax payer.

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