Human rights issues aside (I just threw that stuff in there for kicks – oh, how the far-lefties are disappointed with their hero), wasn’t the Dear Leader promising to close Guantanamo at some point? Wait – all Obama promises come with an expiration date, which apparently has passed for this one. So, sequester or not, the U.S. Southern Command is asking for a bunch of money to expand and renovate a facility that’s holding 166 prisoners. Wow – that’s even more than Joe Biden spends for a night in a fancy hotel.
If ever there was a sign that the military prison in Guantánamo Bay isn’t closing any time soon, it came Thursday when the United States Southern Command asked Congress for $49 million to construct a new prison building on top of other renovations to the military compound Barack Obama promised to shut down during his first week in office.
The request increases the potential taxpayer bill for renovating Guantánamo Bay to an estimated $195.7 million, a development that is angering human rights groups who want to see the prison closed, not expanded.
“These are more U.S. taxpayer dollars being spent on the pointless and damaging policy of keeping Guantánamo open,” Laura Pitter, counterterrorism advisor for Human Rights Watch, told Foreign Policy. “In Obama’s own words, Guantánamo weakens U.S. national security. The U.S. should either prosecute those detained at Guantánamo against whom it has any credible evidence or release them to home or third countries.”
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, expressed similar disappointment in an interview with FP. “This is just absurd,” she said. “Here’s the president — who campaigned on closing Guantánamo Bay — extending and renovating it. What he needs to do is renovate his current policy and release the people who’ve been cleared for release, shut down the prison, and bring the rest of the prisoners to the United States for trial.”