Guantánamo Bay Prisoner Transfer Delayed
Posted on Dec 23, 2009
President Barack Obama made waves just after taking office when he announced his administration’s intent to close the infamous Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba by Jan. 22, 2010, but it looks as if he’s going to miss that deadline.
The president and his sidekicks in the federal Bureau of Prisons had been looking to buy the Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois and transfer several prisoners there from Gitmo, but Obama ran into some issues when it came to drumming up funds for the Thomson project, which is one reason for the delay. —KA
The New York Times:
But in interviews this week, officials estimated that it could take 8 to 10 months to install new fencing, towers, cameras and other security upgrades before any transfers take place. Such construction cannot begin until the federal government buys the prison from the State of Illinois.
The federal Bureau of Prisons does not have enough money to pay Illinois for the center, which would cost about $150 million. Several weeks ago, the White House approached the House Appropriations Committee and floated the idea of adding about $200 million for the project to the military spending bill for the 2010 fiscal year, according to administration and Congressional officials.
But Democratic leaders refused to include the politically charged measure in the legislation. When lawmakers approved the bill on Dec. 19, it contained no financing for Thomson.
AP / Brennan Linsley, pool
The U.S. prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, isn’t going to close just yet.