Civil Liberties

Keeping People Imprisoned is Expensive, But Releasing Them? Now You're Talking Real Money

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A new snag for Obama's Guantanamo closing plans: his Democratic pals in the Senate might not appropriate any money for it. From AP:

the Senate will not provide funds to close the Guantanamo Bay prison next January, a top Democratic official said Tuesday.

With debate looming on Obama's spending request to cover military and diplomatic operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the official says Democrats will deny the Pentagon and Justice Department $80 million to relocate Guantanamo's 240 detainees.

That doesn't mean it won't happen…eventually:

It appears to be a tactical retreat. Once the administration develops a plan to close the facility, congressional Democrats are likely to revisit the topic, provided they are satisfied there are adequate safeguards…..Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters on Tuesday that he sees nothing to indicate the January 2010 deadline will be delayed.

Jacob Sullum from February on why merely closing Gitmo doesn't mean much if the policy behind it continues.

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  1. With debate looming on Obama’s spending request to cover military and diplomatic operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the official says Democrats will deny the Pentagon and Justice Department $80 million to relocate Guantanamo’s 240 detainees.

    $80 million? That’s pocket change!

  2. Why not just give Castro a taste of his own medicine and just let the Gitmo detainees loose in Cuba?

  3. Jacob Sullum from February on why merely closing Gitmo doesn’t mean much if the policy behind it continues.

    It may be moved, but Gitmo as a concept has yet to repudiated by this administration.

    President Barack Obama’s “administration is weighing plans to detain some terror suspects on US soil — indefinitely and without trial — as part of a plan to retool military commission trials that were conducted for prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay,” The Wall Street Journal said.

  4. How about we just apportion the inmates out to every state’s prison system, based on the percentage of the total vote that state gave to Obama/Biden?

  5. At last, we’ve found something that even Democrats won’t spend taxpayer money on. Too bad that something is the freeing of political prisoners.

  6. Whoops, bad phrasing on my part. Scratch “political prisoners.”

  7. The solution is simple. Hold immediate legal civil hearings for the detainees. If the hearings find no reason to continue incarceration, return them to Iraq with some pocket cash.

  8. The solution is simple. Hold immediate legal civil hearings for the detainees. If the hearings find no reason to continue incarceration, return them to Iraq with some pocket cash.

    Great plan, except for the part where many didn’t come from Iraq in the first place.

  9. return them to Iraq with some pocket cash.

    $80,000,000/240=$333,333.33. Will that do?

  10. President Barack Obama’s “administration is weighing plans to detain some terror suspects on US soil — indefinitely and without trial

    As confidently predicted by yours truly shortly after the inauguration.

    A prediction, I seem to recall, that was ridiculed by joe.

  11. I REALLY like the idea of cutting a hole in the fence and looking the other way as they sneak into Cuba.

    Let them try peddling Sharia to the Castro boys and see how far they get.

  12. If the hearings find no reason to continue incarceration, return them to Iraq with some pocket cash.

    In that case, I would prefer to return them to the exact spot where they were first picked up. Sure, give ’em some cash, too, if it makes you feel better – say, a month’s wages for wherever they are dropped off.

  13. If they are cleared, why not let them to the U.S. (f they want to)?

  14. $80 million to relocate Guantanamo’s 240 detainees.

    Ohhhh, relocate. With all the campaign rhetoric, I was somehow laboring under the misapprehension that they were closing gitmo to release the detainees.

  15. That’s not much of a relo package. Unless they’re relocating them to Detroit.

  16. So send them to Texas, it’s a whole other country. Crawford, perhaps.

  17. Give them all a house and a 7-11. Then we can call them rehabilitated.

  18. It’s the republicans fault.

  19. I REALLY like the idea of cutting a hole in the fence and looking the other way as they sneak into Cuba.

    Why look the other way? For $80 million we can give them genuine Cuban disguises and fake paper work so they can just blend right in. We can even afford to teach them to speak Cuban first for $80 million.

    It would be far cheaper doing this with all our serious criminals, compared to what it’s costing us now. And no need to restrict our target dumping grounds to Cuba.

    I mean Obama is sounding pissed at Iran lately (remember when Bush said the same things and got lambasted for it?).

  20. Progressive rhetoric bends to the reality that hese people are dangerous and no civilized country want to deal with them. Since we have convinced ourselves that we are responsible for what happens to them in uncivilized countries (where they might actuall be citizens), there is no good answer for what to do with them.

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