Theodore's World: Dems Don't Want To Fund Illinois GITMO-2

« A MUST See Video of Vietnam Vets Re-United and Christmas With Our Troops Deployed and At Home | Main | The Simple Truths of Service: Johnny the Bagger »

December 27, 2009

Dems Don't Want To Fund Illinois GITMO-2

Plan to Move Guantánamo Detainees Faces New Delay

New York Times

Guantánamo Closure Delayed by One Full Year


Rebuffed this month by skeptical lawmakers when it sought finances to buy a prison in rural Illinois, the Obama administration is struggling to come up with the money to replace the Guantánamo Bay prison.

As a result, officials now believe that they are unlikely to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer its population of terrorism suspects until 2011 at the earliest — a far slower timeline for achieving one of President Obama’s signature national security policies than they had previously hinted.

While Mr. Obama has acknowledged that he would miss the Jan. 22 deadline for closing the prison that he set shortly after taking office, the administration appeared to take a major step forward last week when he directed subordinates to move “as expeditiously as possible” to acquire the Thomson Correctional Center, a nearly vacant maximum-security Illinois prison, and to retrofit it to receive Guantánamo detainees.

But in interviews this week, officials estimated that it could take 8 to 10 months to install new fencing, towers, cameras and other security upgrades before any transfers take place. Such construction cannot begin until the federal government buys the prison from the State of Illinois.

The federal Bureau of Prisons does not have enough money to pay Illinois for the center, which would cost about $150 million. Several weeks ago, the White House approached the House Appropriations Committee and floated the idea of adding about $200 million for the project to the military spending bill for the 2010 fiscal year, according to administration and Congressional officials.

But Democratic leaders refused to include the politically charged measure in the legislation. When lawmakers approved the bill on Dec. 19, it contained no financing for Thomson.

The administration will probably not have another opportunity until Congress takes up a supplemental appropriations bill for the Afghanistan war. Lawmakers are not likely to finish that bill until late March or April.

Moreover, the administration now says that the current focus for Thomson financing is the appropriations legislation for the 2011 fiscal year. Congress will not take that measure up until late 2010.

Frustrated by the difficulties in obtaining financing from Congress, administration officials had discussed invoking a little-known statute that would allow the president to declare a national emergency and then use military funds allocated for other construction projects to buy and retrofit the Illinois prison.

That statute, however, has never been used for a project quite like this one. Fearing that lawmakers would be angered by such a move and could respond by erasing the statute, the administration decided not to invoke it.

Matthew Waxman, who was assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs in the Bush administration, said the Obama administration would need lawmakers’ support for its long-term post-Guantánamo plans. Invoking emergency powers to unilaterally buy Thomson, he said, would be “poking Congress in the eye in a way that would be very counterproductive.”

Wild Thing's comment..........

And still, the administration cannot explain WHY they want to close Gitmo and transfer these terrorists to US soil.

Posted by Wild Thing at December 27, 2009 02:40 AM


Since WHEN does Obamanation.... TRACK the CO$TS of... anything? Thought we now live in a ME MYSELF & I degeneration of materialism and in a Plastic World?

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at December 27, 2009 10:27 AM

Its about time somebody started shooting down his balloons. We can't afford his ideas.

Posted by: Mark at December 27, 2009 01:38 PM

Hell no they don't want to fund anything, that would mean taking responsibility for their actions.

Posted by: Jack at December 27, 2009 03:21 PM

Darth, Ditto that!!!

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 27, 2009 05:36 PM

Mark, I want that to happen sooooo much.
I want him ranting and throwing hissy fits
for not getting what he wants and then
the media covering it. heh heh YESSSSSS

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 27, 2009 05:39 PM

Jack, good point. I have a sneaky feeling
many dems really do not want the terrorists
brought here. They don't speak up about it
of course but they just stay
members first and foremost like they are.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 27, 2009 05:41 PM