Instead, consider the case of Hardin, Mont., a community of 3,400 people just down the road from the place where Custer made his Last Stand.
Lately, things have not been going any better for Hardin than they did for the general. Unemployment is rife. “You go look at our downtown, there’s many closed businesses ... you’ll see drunks laying in the street. It’s not a pretty sight,” the head of the town’s economic development authority told National Public Radio. The town built a $27 million, 464-bed prison under the theory that other parts of the state would pay to have Hardin look after their problem residents. But it’s been empty since it was declared open for business nearly two years ago, and the construction loans are in default.
So, with the town council’s enthusiastic support, Hardin volunteered to take the Guantánamo prisoners.
It’s unlikely that the White House would have accepted the offer, but it was certainly an example of pluck and you’d think everyone would give Hardin three cheers. Instead, Montana’s Democratic senators went ballistic.
“We’re not going to bring Al Qaeda to Big Sky Country — no way, not on my watch,” said Max Baucus.
“If these prisoners need a new place, it’s not going to be anywhere near The Last Best Place,” said Jon Tester.
This shows us two things:
1) Montana has given itself many nicknames.
2) Montanans are more easily frightened than Manhattanites.
Think about it. New Yorkers live in the top terror target in the nation. This week four new would-be terrorists were arrested for plotting to blow up synagogues in the Bronx. On the same day, President Obama announced that the first Guantánamo prisoner to be tried in the United States would be coming to court in Lower Manhattan.
Even though it appears the guys involved in the Bronx case were deeply, deeply inept, this is still not the kind of news package you want to hear. But nobody had a fit over it. “Bottom line is we have had terrorists housed in New York before,” said Senator Charles Schumer.
I really believe that if someone were to go around and poll the citizens living in the vicinity of SuperMax prisons you would find that none of them are afraid of having GITMO detainees housed there. Its just that the bubble is so strong in the beltway that CongressCritters, espcially Democrats, are afraid that pulling the trigger will hurt them come election time. You see its not the citizens are afraid, its the lawmakers and that is a very dissappointing development.