Kansas Prison Towns Say No To New
Leavenworth, KS. – Leavenworth and Lansing residents know how important prisons are to their economy. There are at least five penitentiary-type operations there. And people know what they don't want. KCUR's Dan Verbeck was in Leavenworth and filed this report.
Listen to the mayors, to Senator Sam Brownback and the next member of congress for the district, Lynn Jenkins. See a report from a school district. Detainees from Guantanamo Bay do not belong at the Fort's 'disciplinary barracks.' It is on the short list for places to move detainees suspected of terrorism. Brownback says he's calling on the presidential transition team to visit the fort and see for themselves. Defense department officials have assured him the fort is not a good option. In the Senator's words," ..in this year's defense bill, congress mandated a study from Secretary Gates, due by March of 2009, which assesses options for handling the Guantanamo Bay detainees and I hope that report will reflect the serious problems with placing detainees at Fort Leavenworth that DOD already acknowleges."
Among reasons Brownback says the area is badly suited is securing a piece of land with a river on one side and railroad running through it. The Kansas Republican also cites world criticism of the holding of the detainees. Fort Leavenworth's Command and General Staff College trains officers from allied nations as well as the U.S. Army. Leaders of those countries often tour the academy at the post which is known as the 'intellectual heart of the Army.' The Senator envisions a potential cooling of committment to the joint military training venture if the Fort is connected with the Guantanamo Bay prison controversy.