The political blogosphere has been buzzing since the announcement Tuesday that the Obama administration plans to buy the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, Ill., to house about 100 Guantanamo detainees.
Numerous bloggers are raising the obvious question of how, just days after the passage of the bill that approved a $3.6 trillion budget for fiscal year 2010, the White House will pay for the new facility and all the incidentals that will accompany it.
Though the administration has so far remained mum on the projected cost of the acquisition and its expected source of funding, the Get d’Clu blog says the facility itself would cost about $120 million up-front and would require at least $65 million annually in operational fees.
The state-of-the-art detention facility at Guantanamo Bay was built at a cost of over $50 million for the explicit purpose of keeping terrorists away from U.S. Soil,” says Get d’Clu. “Scrapping the Guantanamo Bay facility for a more expensive one in the U.S. is an imprudent use of taxpayer dollars during a recession.”
Additional project expenses would include security details, especially in the event of a prisoner trial in nearby Chicago. Mayor Richard Daley told the Chicago Sun-Times his city can’t afford to pick up that tab.
Whatever cities they’re gonna be in, it’ll be a cost to the federal government ― not a city government,” Daley told the paper this week. “New York couldn’t even afford that.”
Blogger Marathon Pundit wrote: “Thomson does not have a hospital to treat inmates—Gitmo does. If a terrorist becomes ill or is seriously injured at Gitmo North, he’ll have to be treated in Rock Island, Dubuque, or perhaps Chicago—posing additional security risks.”
Says the blogger at Sparks from the Anvil: “poured tons of taxpayer money into making Gitmo into a secure, safe, and comfortable holding facility for enemy combatants….now we’re going to shut it down, even more taxpayer money to safeguard Gitmo North?”