Pentagon Requests $49 Million to Build New Gitmo Prison
The US Southern Command (Southcom) has requested $49 million to build a new prison building at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba “for special detainees” as well as carry out other “necessary” renovations, US media reveal.
The proposed facility is an apparent replacement for Camp 7, which was constructed to hold 14 “high-value” detainees – including the self-described 9/11 attack architect Khalid Shaikh Mohammed – who had been in CIA custody, but were handed over to the military in 2006.
The proposed prison comes on top of funds previously requested to upgrade the camp’s facilities, including a new dining hall, barracks for prison guards, a hospital, a “legal meeting complex” and a “communications network facility” to store data, the New York Times reports.
Many of the facilities were in a state of disrepair as they were never intended to be used on a permanent basis, a Southcom spokesman told the Huffington Post.
“Most of the buildings and infrastructure were built for a short-term mission,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ron Flanders. “We got down there in 2002, but never in a million years would we still have this in 2013 with no end in sight.”
The additional request will balloon the overall cost to $195.7 million, significantly higher than the estimated $150-170 million that Southcom commander General John Kelly gave while providing congressional testimony on Wednesday, NYT reports.
The special detention facility was also not included among the list of proposed constructions released by Southcom on Wednesday.