Navy: Want to Fly to Gitmo? That'll Be $17K

Military axes only commercial service to base
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2013 2:47 AM CDT
Towers overlooking a US detention facility are silhouetted against a morning sunrise at Guantanamo Bay.   (AP Photo/Toronto Star, Michelle Shephard, Pool)

(Newser) – A flight to Guantanamo Bay will now cost journalists, lawyers, and Red Cross delegates a hefty $17,000 after the base's commander ordered a halt to the only commercial air service between Florida and the Cuba outpost, the Miami Herald reports. IBC Travel says the commander invoked a federal regulation to cancel the service IBC had operated several times a week for years. It will now offer one-day charters for $17,000, to be approved on a case-by-case basis by the commander.

"Of late, the Defense Department has been trying to restrict lawyers’ access to imprisoned clients who do not have pending cases, it has been violating the attorney-client privilege, and now it is eliminating the only non-military route to Guantanamo," complains a lawyer who often visits the base to meet detainees. "Having no other options doesn’t just harm the prisoners and their lawyers," he says. "It also hurts workers, service members, and their loved ones." Service members and the thousands of other residents at the base will still be able to reach it on a Navy-run shuttle service. (Read more Guantanamo Bay stories.)

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