Will Michigan prison become Guantanamo alternative?

Demonstrating that it's still determined to bring Guantamamo captives to U.S. soil, the Obama administration on Wednesday sent a team to inspect a remote maximum-security prison in Michigan as a potential alternative to its prison camps in Cuba.

The Thursday morning tour by officials from the Pentagon, Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, and the Bureau of Prisons marks the first official site survey since President Barack Obama on Jan. 22 ordered his Cabinet to close the controversial prison camps within the year.

Since then, politicians from many communities with jails and prisons that might be pressed into service have systematically tried to block the camps' closure.

But tiny rural Standish, Mich., 145 miles northwest of Detroit has been less resistant. Its 19-year-old, 600-bed state-run Standish Maximum Correctional Facility is being mothballed as extra prison space and the community is eager to keep it open for the water and sewage revenues it might bring.

``This visit is intended only to gather information about the facility,'' an Obama administration official, who was not authorized to discuss the trip, told The Miami Herald. ``Multiple options are being considered.''

Obama administration officials have stressed that no U.S. lock-ups have been selected for the up to 229 war on terror detainees now held at Guanta1namo.

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