$500M Has Gone Into Gitmo Money Pit

Lavish new facilities include an outdoor roller hockey rink
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2010 10:23 AM CDT
A Guantanamo detainee's feet are shackled to the floor as he attends a "Life Skills" class inside the Camp 6 high-security detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Tuesday, April 27, 2010.   (AP Photo/Michelle Shephard, Pool)
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(Newser) – The US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay may have drawn opprobrium from all over the world, but it's also sucked up a stunning amount of funding since 9/11, with construction and renovation projects totaling more than $500 million, the Washington Post reports. That doesn't even count operating costs—twice as high as a comparable facility stateside—which the Post estimates would put the total close to $2 billion. Besides making it one of the most secure facilities in the world, the Pentagon spending seems to have been devoted to making it fun—for military personnel.

The Post lists costs of lavish and often empty sports facilities—go-cart track, outdoor roller hockey rink, and batting cages, and more—as well as a KFC/Taco Bell, and housing for housing for lawyers and journalists during trials. The bill to pave an 8-mile stretch of road along the border with Cuba that had annoying potholes: $26 million.That's twice as much as the $13 million spent to build a courthouse complex customized for the trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. And spending actually accelerated over the years, the Post notes, even as the prison population dwindled from 680 to 181.

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