Sunday, January 25, 2009

From Guantanamo to Alcatraz

Sometimes even the Repugs have good ideas, like Congressman Bill Young's proposal (below in italics) to send the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay to Alcatraz. This would give city progs a whole new stage of operation. The SF Bicycle Coalition would immediately push for a bike path around the island, so the poor guys could get some exercise. As long as they give the project proper environmental review, I would have no objection, since it isn't in the Bicycle Plan (on second thought it may be somewhere in the Network Document). 

Public Defender Jeff Adachi would push for their immediate release into the city's population, since their civil liberties have clearly been violated by the Republicans. District Attorney Kamala Harris, Mayor Newsom, and the Board of Supervisors would of course agree, because San Francisco is a Sanctuary City. The Democratic Central Committee could sign them up with the Democratic Party, since, after all, aren't these guys just progressives who have gone a little astray? They're anti-American and for the destruction of Israel just like progressives, aren't they? Okay, maybe they'll need to modify their views on women and gays, but we can send them the Bay Guardian every week to start the re-education process. The Reverend Cecil Williams could go to the island to conduct multicultural Sunday services. The pot clubs could send them some brownies...

GOP officials push Alcatraz as the new Guantanamo

by Sam Stein

Last week, Congressman Bill Young suggested that as the Obama administration closes Guantanamo Bay, it could send some of the detainees in need of a holding facility to Alcatraz, the famous former prison off the San Francisco coast.

On Sunday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi reminded Young that his statement makes no sense. "Perhaps he has not visited Alcatraz," said the San Francisco Democrat, appearing on ABC's This Week. "And let me say, Bill Young is a great member of Congress and I have a great deal of respect for his opinion. Alcatraz is a tourist attraction. It's a prison that is now sort of like a national park."

Indeed, Robert Kennedy (as Attorney General) shut down Alcatraz as a federal prison in 1963. The site was turned into a national recreation area in 1972 and became a national historic landmark in 1986.

One can easily imagine an ambitious Hollywood producer turning Young's suggestion into a sequel to The Rock---Guantanamo detainees, dropped off at Alcatraz, hold tourists visiting the prison hostage as they demand Habeas rights.

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