Still trying to close Gitmo

U.S. officials say the Pentagon’s long-awaited plan to shut down the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer the remaining detainees to a facility in the United States calls for up to $475 million in construction costs, but would save as much as $180 million per year in operating costs. The plan, which will be delivered to Congress Tuesday, is the administration’s last-ditch effort to make good on President Barack Obama’s campaign vow to close Guantanamo and convince lawmakers to allow the Defense Department to move nearly 60 detainees to the U.S. But the plan provides few details, and may only further antagonise members of Congress who have repeatedly passed legislation banning any effort to move detainees to the U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, chairman of House Armed Services Committee, has said that his panel would hold a hearing on a closure plan. But he sent a letter to Obama warning that Congress has made clear what details must be included in any plan and that anything less than that would be unacceptable. The U.S. officials say the plan considers 13 different locations in the U.S., including seven existing prison facilities in Colorado, South Carolina and Kansas, as well as six other locations on current military bases. They say the plan doesn’t recommend a preferred vite and the cost estimates are meant to provide a starting point for a conversation with Congress”.

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