Barack Obama has repeatedly vowed, and failed, to close Guantanamo Bay prison. And now some legislators actually want almost a hundred million dollars to construct new areas in the camp able to house over one hundred and fifty terror suspects, without trial or hearing. For more let's talk live to public defender Carlos Warner who represents twelve detainees at Guantanamo.
The US Congress has allocated a fund of $69 million for a new secret jail at Guantanamo Bay to hold the 9/11 mastermind and several former CIA prisoners.
The GOP-led House Armed Services Committee allocated the fund Wednesday to build a new “high-value detainee complex” that would replace the crumbling "Camp 7" detention center, which keeps 15 former CIA prisoners, including six men awaiting death penalty trials, at Camp 7.
The six include Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four alleged accomplices accused of plotting the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as well as the alleged plotter of al-Qaeda’s 2000 suicide bombing of the USS Cole destroyer, Abd al Rahim al Nashiri.
The legislation calls for $93 million for new construction on the different prison camps inside the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, the Miami Herald reported.
The US Southern Command has long asked for the project but it has not had any support from the Obama administration so far.
US Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas, the second-highest-ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, said the US Army notified Congress more than a year ago that it was designing a new “high-value detainee complex at Guantánamo Bay.”
The lawmaker cited a number of reasons for the new prison.
“Existing facilities have far exceeded their service life expectancy and are deteriorating rapidly. The inefficiencies experienced in proper separation, seclusion and control of the occupants put Joint Task Force Guantánamo staff at risk … If this project is not funded detainees will continue to be housed in facilities that will degrade to the point of risking failure to meet operational, life and health-safety standards.”
The entire prison is composed of 2,200 military and civilian personnel monitoring a number of 154 terrorists held in the various camps.
The new funding is part of the National Defense Authorization Bill, which could undergo several changes as it passes through Congress and result in the construction plan being axed.
According to the bill, no Guantanamo prisoner is allowed to be transferred to the US for trial or further detention.
President Barack Obama promised in January 2009 to close the Guantanamo prison within a year.