Obama’s 2013 Budget Gives Up On ‘Gitmo North’ Proposal

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It took 20 words for the Obama administration to give up on its proposal to renovate an Illinois prison to render it capable of holding terrorism detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

“The proposed Administrative USP Thomson, IL project was removed as funding was not provided in the FY 2011 Enacted Appropriation,” the administration said in their 2013 budget proposal for building and facilities expenses from DOJ’s Bureau of Prisons.Congress had already pretty much killed the project by not providing the money to acquire the facility, but DOJ went ahead and requested money to renovate the facility in its 2012 budget proposal this time last year. DOJ had also said that the facility was needed to deal with prison population growth regardless of whether Guantanamo Bay detainees would ever end up there.

The 2013 budget proposal says that the Bureau of Prisons completed an environmental assessment of the Thomson location and said “community concerns” were being addressed.

Update: DOJ spokesperson Adora Andy tells TPM that the Department “continues to be interested in the acquisition of the Thomson, Illinois facility to meet critical federal prison capacity needs and will continue to work with Congress to identify funding sources as necessary.”

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