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May 4, 2013

"Guantanamo camp burns through $900,000 a year per inmate"

The title of this post is the headline of this new Reuters article, which gets started this way:

It's been dubbed the most expensive prison on Earth and President Barack Obama cited the cost this week as one of many reasons to shut down the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, which burns through some $900,000 per prisoner annually.

The Pentagon estimates it spends about $150 million each year to operate the prison and military court system at the U.S. Naval Base in Cuba, which was set up 11 years ago to house foreign terrorism suspects. With 166 inmates currently in custody, that amounts to an annual cost of $903,614 per prisoner.

By comparison, super-maximum security prisons in the United States spend about $60,000 to $70,000 at most to house their inmates, analysts say. And the average cost across all federal prisons is about $30,000, they say.

The high cost was just one reason Obama cited when he returned this week to an unfulfilled promise to close the prison and said he would try again. Obama also said that the prison, set up under his Republican predecessor George W. Bush and long the target of criticism by rights groups and foreign governments, is a stain on the reputation of the United States....

The cost argument could be a potent weapon at a time of running budget battles between Obama and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, and of across-the-board federal spending cuts that kicked in in March. The "sequestration" as it is known, is due to cut some $109 billion in spending up to the end of September and has cut government services small and large.

Just one inmate from Guantanamo, for example, is equivalent to the cost of 12 weeks of White House tours for the public - a treasured tradition that the Secret Service says costs $74,000 a week and that has been axed under sequestration.

A single inmate is also the equivalent of keeping open the control tower at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport for 45 months. That control tower, another victim of cuts, costs $20,000 per month to run.

The $900,000 also matches the funding for nearly seven states to help serve home delivered meals to the elderly. Sequestration has cost Meals on Wheels a median shortfall of $129,497 per state, the organization says.

I do not blog much about GTMO because the inmates held there have not be duly convicted and sentenced. That said, I think it is notable just how high the price tag seems to be on keeping that facility in operation.

May 4, 2013 at 09:19 PM | Permalink


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I was informed by a Super Lawyer (OSU Law ’67) that a goat herder who was swept up in the
arrest all ; let God sort out the innocents
should be able to prove that he is only a goat herder and not a terrorist .

Posted by: Just Plain Jim | May 4, 2013 9:40:52 PM

I priced a bullet, 50 cents, at most a dollar. Kill the terrorists and close the place. Or exchange them for Taliban hostages. First kill, behead one, and send the video to the Taliban.

Lawyers make 99% of decisions in the government, a wholly owned subsidiary of the criminal cult enterprise that is the lawyer profession. The government will therefore only look out of itself, and the public gets an occasional benefit. Most of the time it gets nothing back for its money taken at the point of a gun.

This is a good example of the government's doing nothing well due to lawyer rent seeking. All these prisoners should have been executed or shot in the field. Under the guise of false virtue, we are over spending on people who are not even human. However, the real intent of keeping them alive is now evident. They are the pretext for massive government make work jobs, like when the unions were run by the Mob. This is a CCE criminal syndicate tax ripoff.

The courts and lawyers in the executive forcing these high costs to maintain political correctness and respect for a religion that does not respect us, should be subject to investigation. Who is funding them? If it is the Saudis, try them for treason. And summarily execute them.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 4, 2013 9:45:27 PM

The alternative.

Pay the money to bribe the prisoners to change sides. They are probably cheap to pay off. $50,000 can probably provide for their entire village for 5 years. Bribing the enemy brings great value for the tax cost. Compare to the worthless waste of time on political games now going on in that place

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 4, 2013 9:49:23 PM

There is a time honored adage when dealing with Pirates. Take no prisoners.

The world has lots of terrorists who are pirates of one variety or another, whether they are motivated by money, ideology, religion or adventure. There are few nation states in the world which respect human rights. There are many Pirate Territories which claim nation state status. There are many quasi nation states which respect some peoples human rights. Yemen is a Pirate Territory. Morocco is a quasi nation state with pirate characteristics. Afghanistan is a Pirate Territory extradinaire.

In the future we need to take no prisoners.

As to Gitmo, close it down. Ship the inmates to their Pirate Territory of origin and wait for them to reappear and then kill them the next time. Put a chip in them and track them. As to Gitmo though: Obama, pull out now like your father should have.

Posted by: liberty1st | May 4, 2013 11:46:29 PM

the problem liberty is because of the half assed illegal way the filled it up. they have no friggin clue who is a so-called "terrorist" and who as just a poor sap picked up off the street so a real terrorist working for the US could get PAID!

The fact the govt is bending into pretzels to keep all these cases AWAY from a REAL COURT tells me something stinks. Probably the actions of our criminal govt!

Posted by: rodsmith | May 5, 2013 3:01:58 AM

It isn't the same thing, yes, but as with the death penalty debate, we have the cost angle & those who are hindering Obama's efforts to close it down (including by trials in federal courts by normal procedures and transfers) as in the other case, are not simply thinking of cost. So, it is of limited if notable value.

Posted by: Joe | May 5, 2013 8:40:42 AM

Well, for starters, if they want to cut costs, they could start with the gloves American servicemen are forced to wear when handling the Koran, oh, I'm sorry, the Holy Qu'ran.

Second, as for those "hindering," perhaps Joe you ought to think through the consequences of bringing these guys to American soil. If, for whatever reason, any of them are acquitted, they walk. And who will take them? The same people who take undeportable criminals--America.

This article is ridiculous. There are plenty of examples of government waste that could fund any number of things affected by the sequester. Ler's start with the $59 per gallon green fuel.

Posted by: federalist | May 5, 2013 8:53:37 AM

I agree with Rodsmith. If they dont have evidence then let em go.

Posted by: liberty1st | May 5, 2013 11:25:51 PM

Well federalist maybe the fucktards who now run this country should have thought about that before they paid paid bounty hunters for prisoners and then dragged them around the world to our terratory where our law applies.

Once they were retarded enough to do that all the protections of that law applies.

If they wanted to treat them via military court. They sound have kept them in country as it were and had the military trials THERE!

Me! i'd have simply made sure i took no prisoners.

of course that is part of our problem a large majority of them WE didn't take. Jim Bob Musaka off the street grabbed them and then sold them to our retards for cash money!

Posted by: rodsmith | May 6, 2013 12:28:22 AM

Does the fact that more than half of the inmates there have been cleared for release with no charges pending bother any of you people who say we should just but bullets in their heads? Sheesh!

Posted by: decencyevolves | May 7, 2013 7:42:32 PM

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