November 29, 2012

Report: U.S. could absorb Gitmo inmates

The only barrier to closing the prison in Cuba is a lack of political will, says Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The controversial detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, could be closed and the 166 detainees being held there could be absorbed safely by U.S. prisons, a government report says.

Many of the detainees are accused of plotting terrorist acts against the United States.

"This report demonstrates that if the political will exists, we could finally close Guantanamo without imperiling our national security," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman who released the Government Accountability Office study Wednesday.

The GAO study shows that U.S. prisons already hold 373 prisoners convicted of terrorism in 98 facilities across the country.

"As far as I know, there hasn't been a single security problem reported in any of these cases," Feinstein said. "This fact outweighs not only the high cost of maintaining Guantanamo -- which costs more than $114 million a year -- but also provides the same degree of security without the criticism of operating a military prison in an isolated location."

The study said there are six Defense Department prisons and 98 Justice Department prisons that could take the detainees. But it also notes that existing facilities likely would need to be modified and current inmates may need to be relocated to make room for the new arrivals.

President Obama ordered the closing of the Guantanamo's detention facility when he took office in 2009, but that was blocked by a Republican-led bill that cut off funding to move the detainees to the U.S.

The lawmakers cited security concerns, saying the presence of the detainees would encourage terror attacks in the states or cities where they were being held.

Feinstein commissioned the study in 2008 to find out where the detainees could be held, if the White House was able to move ahead with Guantanamo's closure.

 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)