On Gitmo, Obama Has a NIMBY Problem

Congress balks at funds, authority to move detainees to US
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted May 1, 2009 9:01 AM CDT
In this image reviewed by the US military, the sun rises over Guantanamo detention facility on Nov. 19, 2008.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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(Newser) – President Obama has ordered that Guantanamo be closed by the end of the year, but finding a place for the prisoners the administration can neither try nor export is turning into a political nightmare. A Pentagon request for $50 million to relocate the prisoners is running into crossfire in Congress, Politico reports, and may have to be buried somewhere in the budget. Says Defense Secretary Robert Gates, “I fully expect to have 535 pieces of legislation before this is over saying not in my district, not in my state.”

The Pentagon request came with language seeking broad authority to build facilities “not otherwise authorized by law,” which has legislators fretting about detainees in their backyards. “We’ll leave the money in and drop the language,” says a GOP lawmaker. “It’s not fully done, but that’s where we’re going.”