Feds zeroing in on new prison inside the U.S. for Gitmo detainees

The administration is considering whether to transfer some detainees at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to a facility in the United States that would contain courtrooms to hold federal criminal trials and military commissions to prosecute terrorism suspects, administration officials said Sunday.

The maximum-security facility would be jointly run by the departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security, with each assuming responsibility for different sets of inmates. Officials said such a facility could also house prisoners held in indefinite detention and those cleared for release but who have no country willing to accept them. Those convicted in federal court or military commissions could serve their terms there.

Officials said administration planners looking for one site for the facility have focused on the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and a state maximum-security prison in Standish, Mich., that is scheduled to be closed…

Administration officials said the transfer plan would mitigate the challenge of scattering detainees across numerous jurisdictions, a move that would require a detailed security plan for each and upgrades for many facilities. A single prison would also localize political opposition and, in the case of Michigan, might draw political backing.