Huffpost Politics
Sam Stein Headshot

GOP Officials Push Alcatraz As The New Guantanamo

Posted: Updated:

Last week, Congressman Bill Young suggested that as the Obama administration closes Guantanamo Bay, it could send some of the detainees in need of a holding facility to Alcatraz, the famous former prison off the San Francisco coast.

On Sunday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi reminded Young that his statement makes no sense.

"Perhaps he has not visited Alcatraz," said the San Francisco Democrat, appearing on ABC's This Week. "And let me say, Bill Young is a great member of Congress and I have a great deal of respect for his opinion. Alcatraz is a tourist attraction. It's a prison that is now sort of like a national park."

Indeed, Robert Kennedy (as Attorney General) shut down Alcatraz as a federal prison in 1963. The site was turned into a national recreation area in 1972 and became a national historic landmark in 1986.

One can easily imagine an ambitious Hollywood producer turning Young's suggestion into a sequel to The Rock -- Guantanamo detainees, dropped off at Alcatraz, hold tourists visiting the prison hostage as they demand Habeas rights.