Politics

Guantánamo Bay is Popular and Going Green

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NPH, unicorn, harold and kumar

One of the world's most infamous prisons is quite popular among Americans. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 70 percent of Americans support President's Obama decision to keep the prison at Guantanamo Bay open.

This is actually one of its highest levels of support, even though Obama campaigned that he would close Gitmo. More surprisingly,

The poll shows that 53 percent of self-identified liberal Democrats — and 67 percent of moderate or conservative Democrats — support keeping Guantanamo Bay open, even though it emerged as a symbol of the post-Sept. 11 national security policies of President George W. Bush, which many liberals bitterly opposed.

But's there's a silver lining for progressives: Guantanamo Bay is going green!

The Miami Herald elaborates:

"From my perspective certainly the greening of Gitmo is important," says U.S. Navy Capt. Kirk Hibbert, the base commander. National security is paramount, he said, but the Navy mandate to curb consumption "has an effect on almost everything we do here."

The Navy wants to halve its reliance on fossil fuels by 2020, primarily to reduce costs. (Meanwhile, the military has no plans to reduce its dependency on indefinite detention.) Guantanamo Bay is the most expensive prison on Earth, costing 30 times as much as the average American prison to detain the 171 captives there. On diesel fuel alone, Gitmo spends $100,000 each day.

To go green, the base has installed solar panel arrays, smart meters, LED lights, and windmills. Electric car use is on the rise, while Navy cops have been riding bikes instead of SUVs for patrols. Gitmo has also acted a testing ground for energy efficiency and innovation, including a possible NASA experiment to "grow algae, as biofuel, inside a floating field of wastewater discharged into Guantánamo Bay." Glad to see the Navy has its priorities straight.

Reason.tv on Obama's national security policy. The ACLU has a devastating infographic on Gitmo.