President Obama is working to make good on an old campaign promise, closing Guantanamo Bay, and he’s got less than a year to pull it off. A plan, or as the President called it an outline of options, has been sent to congress today.
The key part of the plan is bringing between thirty to sixty of the current 91 detainees onto domestic soil because they are deemed too dangerous to be released to a replacement prison in another country. The rest, considered lower level detainees, would be sent to countries that can meet security conditions.
A selling point for the President is that the Pentagon estimates taxpayers would spend nearly eighty five million dollars less each year to house the wartime detainees on domestic soil instead of Guantanamo. Savings that could offset construction to upgrade current facilities to hold the high level detainees. Each detainee at Guantanamo costs the US allegedly three millions dollars a year.
The plan still requires bi-partisan support for there is a statute banning the military from moving detainees from Guantanamo to the United States however there is still a possibility that the President might try to use his executive authority.
Guantanamo has been housing prisoners of the war on terror since 2002, at one point housing nearly seven hundred detainees.