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.