For The Deficit Hawks

Good news for deficit hawks.

If you're looking for a target more worthy of your time than food stamps and baby formula, The Miami Herald has just served one up to you piping hot.

The facility is “arguably the most expensive prison on earth,” according to a new report from the Miami Herald. With a budget of $139 million last year to house just 171 detainees, it costs more than $800,000 to keep each prisoner for a year — more than 30 times the average cost of a traditional prison. The report is based on a “secret study” conducted by the camp’s former deputy commander, a money manager by training, who calls the facility “expensive” and “inefficient" [...]

The camp enjoys fairly lavish facilities and services for both guards and prisoners alike, and employs 1,850 troops, linguists, intelligence analysts, federal agents, and contract laborers, many of whom receive combat pay, as if they were stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Unlike troops in Iraq or Afghanistan, however, commanders can also bring their families and kids, at extra expense to taxpayers. The Pentagon notes that extra costs are unavoidable dealing with a remote facility in a foreign country.

If you want to talk about "wasteful spending," I don't think you could find a better candidate than Guantanamo Bay.

I would assume that to be one small reason why President Obama signed an executive order the day he took office to close the base, but if you asked me why the Republicans in congress have voted unanimously three separate times to block the closure of the base, I couldn't give you an answer. Perhaps closing Guantanamo just isn't as sexy as launching a witch hunter over $16 muffins.

To be fair, and perhaps more importantly, the Democrats in congress also voted unanimously each of those times against closing Guantanamo, so on this issue President Obama has received virtually no support from his own party or the other.

The president also signed an executive order, following the order to close Guantanamo, effectively banning torture. Just like Bush.

via ThinkProgress