The other side of NIMBY

THE OTHER SIDE OF NIMBY…. The conventional wisdom on bringing Gitmo detainees to U.S. soil isn’t quite right.

During the May 20 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, NBC News correspondent Savannah Guthrie falsely claimed of detainees held at the detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba: “No congressman wants these detainees in their district.”

One of the more interesting developments of the past several days is seeing how untrue this is. Media Matters noted that Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), for example, has offered use of the Albert V. Bryan U.S. Courthouse and Detention Center in Alexandria, Virginia. Likewise, Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Pa.) said if the government wants to built a maximum security prison in his district, he’d be happy to have detainees sent to his area.

Yesterday, Carl Levin (D-Mich.) extended a similar offer, suggesting the construction of a new maximum-security in Michigan would help his state. (Former Michigan Gov. John Engler (R) raised the specter of a “Guantanamo North” in the U.P.)

What’s more, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) told reporters yesterday, “Yes, we have maximum security prisons in California eminently capable of holding these people as well, and from which people — trust me — do not escape.”

And then there’s the town of Hardin, Montana, where the city council voted unanimously to tell federal officials that they’d take the detainees no one else wants.

In this case, the NIMBY problem is clearly not universal.