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The Gitmo Price Tag

Posted on Nov 13, 2011
codepinkhq (CC-BY)

Activists march in 2009 to show their support for shutting down the Guantanamo Bay prison.

The Obama administration puts the cost of holding each of Guantanamo’s 171 prisoners at about $800,000 per year, or a total of $136 million taken from taxpayers’ pockets annually. That’s more than 30 times what it costs to keep an individual captive on U.S. soil.

The Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg gives more details here on the costs and perks of being imprisoned or employed at Gitmo.

Mother Jones:

Just to put that in perspective, while each Gitmo detainee costs close to a million dollars per person annually, inmates in federal prisons cost about $25,000 per person. Even in our supposed age of austerity, with Republicans demanding cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, and turning Medicare into a voucher plan, there’s always money to waste on an elaborate island prison for thirty times the cost it would take to lock people up here.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, November 15, 2011 at 4:22 am Link to this comment

objective observer,


it isn’t you or me, given you are a US citizen.  the US Bill of Rights, by definition, is for US citizens, not whomever the United Nothing deems.

Hardly, the Bill of Rights is based on natural rights recognized before the United States was created.

This is becomming a mute point with unconstitutional laws like the Patriot Act and Patriot Act II eroding the guarentees contained in the Bill of Rights.

Would we want these people in our neighborhoods?  We already have them here in the US and much much worse.  No one holds a candle to US criminals.

Stick them in Supermax, after a fair trial.

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By objective observer, November 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


it isn’t you or me, given you are a US citizen.  the US Bill of Rights, by definition, is for US citizens, not whomever the United Nothing deems.  using the UN is a deadend example, given all they do is talk, while tens of thousands have died, ie Rwanda, Bosnia, etc. 

and no, i would not apply “classified” to any of this.  the questions remains - would you or any other of the commenters on this page want these fine people in your neighborhood?

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, November 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

objective observer,

Work on changing your screen name because you are about as far away from objectivity as it gets.

Rule of Law, ever hear of it?  The Bill of Rights was intended for everyone, not just Americans.  The UN recognizes human rights which Gitmo violates on a daily basis.

Most of these people are guilty as hell, I want the State to offer up proof just like it was you or me.

And don’t feed me the ‘its classified’ crap, Laws and Jurisprudence are national security, the rest is fluff.

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By objective observer, November 14, 2011 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

what a bunch of crybabies.  perhaps those who are whining about these inmates would feel better if they were moved in next door?  perhaps into your town?  they don’t deserve to have the same rights as US citizens due to the inconvenient fact that they AREN’T US citizens.  it boggles the sane mind as to why anyone would want to give them US citizen rights.

and Caped Amigo, i still do wonder at exactly what the OWS folks want.  sanity not considered…

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, November 13, 2011 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

It’s not that Obama didn’t follow through per se, and he did issue an executive order to that effect.

“Promising to return America to the “moral high
ground” in the war on terrorism, President Obama
issued three executive orders Thursday to demonstrate
a clean break from the Bush administration, including
one requiring that the Guantanamo Bay detention
facility be closed within a year.”

And then all hell broke loose. If it wasn’t one issue it was another, eventually CONGRESS
stopped Guantanamo’s closing by defunding its closing and making restriction after restriction,  leaving it in complete limbo.

“In December, in the provisions of a major defense
bill, Congress imposed the tightest restrictions yet
on the handling of Guantanamo detainees, barring the
administration from bringing any into the United
States even for prosecution.

To some in the administration, by attempting to
dictate prosecution decisions, Congress had clearly
stepped on an executive prerogative, and they wanted
the president to declare the provision
unconstitutional in a signing statement in which he
would indicate that he was not bound by certain

I think this condition should be revisited. Do you think our “do nothing” Congress could address this or are they too busy naming buildings and cutting taxes for the rich.

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By gerard, November 13, 2011 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

Worse yet, the cost to the United States worldwide reputation for trustworthiness, fairness and mercy is inestimable and can never be paid off in full.

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By John Sullivan, November 13, 2011 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow, who woulda thought that a for-profit prison would cost the taxpayers money…

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, November 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Shutting down this travesty of jurisprudence was an issue Obama ran on in his election and failed the U.S. public with his falure to close it down.

While the inmates there may be of the worse kind, they are entitled to due process and freedom if the U.S. cannot make its case.

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caped amigo's avatar

By caped amigo, November 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

With travesties of judgement such as this, there are still some people who ask
“what do the OWSers want? It boggles the sane mind.

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