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Politico: King challenges Obama administration prison purchase

Politico – By BYRON TAU

In a letter addressed to President Obama, Homeland Security committee chairman Peter King accused the Obama administration of lying about the reasons behind the purchase an Illinois prison — warning that it could be used to house terrorism suspects on U.S. soil.

"It is difficult to believe the claim that your Administration intends to use the Thomson facility solely for housing criminals since the Federal government already owns four additional empty prison facilities that are awaiting activation," King wrote.

The Obama administration announced Monday that they were purchasing the Illinois facility — a prison that they had once considered transferring Guantanamo terrorism prisoners to. Officials insisted that the purchase was simply to help avoid overcrowding and that no terrorist suspects would be transferred there.

Congressional and public pressure forced the Obama administration to relent on plans to relocate Gitmo prisoners to the United States, and Congress has since passed several laws banning their transfer.

"Despite the clear congressional intent, recent proceedings commenced by the Department of Justice  in the Northern District of Illinois clearly tips your Administration's  hand that it intends to proceed with a reckless plan of transferring terrorist detainees to the U.S. Homeland," King wrote.

"If there is no special purpose for the Thomson facility that cannot  be fulfilled by one of the existing empty prisons, then I urge that you recommit the funding to higher priority  homeland security needs," he wrote.