Though officials continue to insist President Obama intends to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay at some point, he has reportedly rejected the latest Pentagon proposal to do so as “too expensive” to justify.
The plan would’ve cost some $600 million, $350 million of which was meant to build a new prison on US soil, a figure the president believed was “excessive.” The plan would save $100 million in operations annually, for running a prison inside the US instead of in the legal blackhole at Guantanamo Bay.
How the president would come up with this $600 million, however, was unclear, as Congress has repeatedly barred spending any money on the transfer of prisoners or the closing of the facility. President Obama has insisted such restrictions are “counterproductive.”
When he took office in 2009, President Obama vowed to close Guantanamo Bay by the end of the year, though up to this point he’s made no serious effort to do so. While he has blamed Congress, the opposition to the site’s closure has mostly come in the past few years, after Obama failed to deliver on the initial pledge.