Pentagon Wants $200M— for 10-Year Gitmo Upgrade

Asks Congress for $450M for facility Obama wants to close
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2013 5:15 AM CDT
Updated May 22, 2013 8:09 AM CDT
Pentagon to Congress: We Need $450M for Gitmo
A US trooper stands in the turret of a vehicle with a machine gun, left, as a guard looks out from a tower at the detention facility of Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base in Cuba.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

If you're already upset about the fact that Guantanamo is still open, your head may actually explode at this next bit: The Pentagon wants Congress to grant it more than $450 million to maintain—and upgrade—the prison, according to a budget request from the Obama administration. Specifically, $200 million of that is earmarked for upgrading temporary facilities, a process that could take as long as 10 years, the AP reports.

Another $79 million is for operations (the same amount as the current year); $20.5 million is for the office of military commissions; plus millions more for a fiberoptic cable. President Obama still intends to close the prison, and just last month he pointed out at a news conference that Guantanamo Bay is "expensive" and "inefficient." He is expected to discuss Gitmo's future tomorrow during a speech on counterterrorism. (Read more Guantanamo Bay stories.)

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