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Again the issue of closing Guantanamo.

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  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Again Obama gave a speech about closing Guantanamo; this was discussed on the site before. Again I state that as also Obama said it is a huge cost issue; he said it cost 85 million per year to keep it going. Anyway he said that the military tribunals are ineffective and keep dragging things out. So I still think some people are profiting from that prison, as usual in this country. I'm sorry to say that Obamas latest effort will be railroaded as before by the GOP "warhawks", including Trump etc.
  • Liberal
    Libertarian
    Dallas, TX
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    It's not surprising. The "old guard" still has a death grip on streams of profit that continue to hurt our global reputation.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    It will be railroaded by the Congress, but you again lose me when you suggest that someone is getting rich off of housing 91 prisoners on a naval base in Cuba.

    I am the first person that wants us to either try or release every single prisoner being held at GITMO, but closing it will not fix our budget woes or decrease the overall military budget. These are two entirely separate things and they should be treated as such.

    American troops seized control of Guantanamo Bay in 1898 and they have been in control of Guantanamo Bay ever since. After a few years of limbo, the United States and Cuba signed the Cuban–American Treaty of Relations in 1903 and then again in 1934 giving America control of that section of the island. American forces have been there for over one hundred and fifteen years, so it's not like this base just popped up out of nowhere.

    The military industrial complex profits by war, not prisons. Prisons are not profitable because you have to house, feed, monitor, and care for each and every prisoner. It's a lot cheaper to build a weapon of war and kill a lot of people. I'm not trying to suggest that I agree with that, but I'm just pointing out that you are whacking the wrong mole. Closing the prison at GITMO is a civil and human rights issue, not a budgetary issue.

  • Liberal
    Libertarian
    Dallas, TX
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    It looks as though it actually costs over $400m to run it annually. That's a large chunk of change. That is not to say that we consider an annual budget over human rights, of course not. It is a prison, yes, but it is a military prison. One cannot ignore that most of the money, if not all, exchanges hands within the American military industrial complex, money that could be allocated to areas of human interest, such as aid to children who are now homeless in a war-torn Iraq.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    JFoster Wrote: It looks as though it actually costs over $400m to run it annually. That's a large chunk of change. That is not to say that we consider an annual budget over human rights, of course not. It is a prison, yes, but it is a military prison. One cannot ignore that most of the money, if not all, exchanges hands within the American military industrial complex, money that could be allocated to areas of human interest.

    What I'm trying to say is that Guantanamo Bay is not only a military prison; it's a military base. The base will be there long after the last prisoner leaves.

    The annual cost to run the prison at Guantanamo Bay is based largely on transportation costs for military lawyers representing their clients being held there and the various other costs that come with operating a prison on an island. We actually rent the land from Cuba, so that cost is added in there, as well.

    Look--I don't want the prison at Guantanamo Bay open for one more day, but the military base at Guantanamo Bay will be open well after the last prisoner leaves. That's just a fact. We can have a discussion about the pros and cons of having a military base there, but arguing that closing the prison portion of the base will begin to break down the military industrial complex is naive at best.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Foster is right; someone including those filthy lawyers is making lots of money on it. I guarantee that of the $400 million a couple of million disappears in some pockets. I worked with military procurement; did you Jared? Why do you think a plastic toilet seat for the armed forces cost $5oo.- a piece? Especially "outside" the US it is easy to "spent" more. When the US still had a base in the Netherlands, everything got "imported" ( flown in); they did not trust the local goods. I doubt if for that Cuban base they buy any Cuban "goods" maybe except the cigars. Jared you are very naïve about what uncle Sam does do with your money. Open your eyes. I know a Vietnam veteran, who claims to be totally incapacitated and now makes a small fortune paid by the government and does not have to work while he is healthy and can ride his new Harley and BMW. Don't let me laugh about this country and its stupidities.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: Foster is right; someone including those filthy lawyers is making lots of money on it.

    Those damn filthy lawyers fighting for their clients who are being held without any charges to have some rights. Those dirty lawyers must be in a conspiracy with military prosecutors and Republican Senators to keep the prisoners behind bars so they can continue to get free trips to Cuba. I hear it's beautiful there this time of year.

    Dutch Wrote: I guarantee that of the $400 million a couple of million disappears in some pockets. I worked with military procurement; did you Jared? Why do you think a plastic toilet seat for the armed forces cost $5oo.- a piece? Especially "outside" the US it is easy to "spent" more. When the US still had a base in the Netherlands, everything got "imported" ( flown in); they did not trust the local goods. I doubt if for that Cuban base they buy any Cuban "goods" maybe except the cigars. Jared you are very naïve about what uncle Sam does do with your money. Open your eyes. I know a Vietnam veteran, who claims to be totally incapacitated and now makes a small fortune paid by the government and does not have to work while he is healthy and can ride his new Harley and BMW. Don't let me laugh about this country and its stupidities.

    Once again--I am not naive; I am a realist who doesn't think that everything our Government does is a conspiracy to make someone rich.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote: Foster is right; someone including those filthy lawyers is making lots of money on it.

    Those damn filthy lawyers fighting for their clients who are being held without any charges to have some rights. Those dirty lawyers must be in a conspiracy with military prosecutors and Republican Senators to keep the prisoners behind bars so they can continue to get free trips to Cuba. I hear it's beautiful there this time of year.

    Dutch Wrote: I guarantee that of the $400 million a couple of million disappears in some pockets. I worked with military procurement; did you Jared? Why do you think a plastic toilet seat for the armed forces cost $5oo.- a piece? Especially "outside" the US it is easy to "spent" more. When the US still had a base in the Netherlands, everything got "imported" ( flown in); they did not trust the local goods. I doubt if for that Cuban base they buy any Cuban "goods" maybe except the cigars. Jared you are very naïve about what uncle Sam does do with your money. Open your eyes. I know a Vietnam veteran, who claims to be totally incapacitated and now makes a small fortune paid by the government and does not have to work while he is healthy and can ride his new Harley and BMW. Don't let me laugh about this country and its stupidities.

    Once again--I am not naive; I am a realist who doesn't think that everything our Government does is a conspiracy to make someone rich.

    Yes I hope you are a realist; indeed you are partial right; because I think only the 'cleaners" of government buildings are honest.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: Yes I hope you are a realist; indeed you are partial right; because I think only the 'cleaners" of government buildings are honest. ?

    It makes me sad that so many people have lost faith in our government. There are things everyone has a right to be angry about, but we are still one of the only countries that everyone in the world wants to move to.

    Aren't you one of those people who emigrated here in search of living a better life? Don't you find it mildly ironic that you now hate the country that took you in and gave you the life you now have? If you hate America so much then leave. No one is forcing you to stay here.

    We are a melting pot that takes in people of all faiths and nationalities. How many other countries can say the same thing? Not many.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote: Yes I hope you are a realist; indeed you are partial right; because I think only the 'cleaners" of government buildings are honest. ?

    It makes me sad that so many people have lost faith in our government. There are things everyone has a right to be angry about, but we are still one of the only countries that everyone in the world wants to move to.

    Aren't you one of those people who emigrated here in search of living a better life? Don't you find it mildly ironic that you now hate the country that took you in and gave you the life you now have? If you hate America so much then leave. No one is forcing you to stay here.

    We are a melting pot that takes in people of all faiths and nationalities. How many other countries can say the same thing? Not many.

    I guess you have no clue what is going on here; anyway I never came here because of its fantastic Constitution especially the "second Amendment". I was "invited" here because of my skills. I agree with you that the country has some beautiful landscapes; good for tourists, but the "island" mentality as well "greed", "corruption" "militarism", "guns" and in-equality for a lot of people as well total lack of culture except singing in church makes this absolutely not a number one country in the world. I'm very busy to leave this country and shortly I will, so don't worry; you will love on how this country will work its way downhill to be a an "has been worldpower" as what happened to any country, which thinks to know it all, and remains arrogant and invades every country we don't like. Ask Hitler on how that ends.
  • Liberal
    Libertarian
    Dallas, TX
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    To not acknowledge the fact that the defense industry is our economic "bread and butter" is a very limited point of view as well. Defense companies make billions of dollars arming our over-populated military. Another base is just another dollar, especially in countries we shouldn't have any interest in in the first place, and the fight against communism argument has run its course, holding less water in regards to Cuba.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    JFoster Wrote: To not acknowledge the fact that the defense industry is our economic "bread and butter" is a very limited point of view as well. Defense companies make billions of dollars arming our over-populated military. Another base is just another dollar, especially in countries we shouldn't have any interest in in the first place, and the fight against communism argument has run its course, holding less water in regards to Cuba.

    I've been trying to explain that we have to divorce the two. I'm on board with reigning in the military industrial complex, but conflating the issue of the prison at GITMO with the overall defense industry is a red herring.

    Closing down GITMO is a human rights issue, not a budgetary one. The military budget is roughly $581 billion dollars this fiscal year. The prison at Guantanamo Bay will cost roughly $450 million out of that $581 billion budget. That translates to .078% of the military budget.

    We also have to remind ourselves that Congress has the power of the purse in this country and they have made it impossible for President Obama to do much of anything at GITMO without their approval. They have passed amendments explicitly prohibiting the President from transferring any prisoner being held there to American soil, even on military bases within our borders. He is not a king and can't just ignore them.

    He does have the power to negotiate prisoner swaps and transfer individuals being held at GITMO to a foreign country, but if no country wants them then we are back to square one. Of the remaining 91 prisoners being held there, 35 have been cleared for release but no country wants them. The remaining are in limbo because the Congress hasn't drafted new legislation establishing a military tribunal after the Supreme Court ruled their last attempt as unconstitutional.

    So it's not as simple as just saying "we need to close GITMO." I would love for us to close GITMO and dozens of other military bases, but we are a country of laws and the President can't just do whatever he wants.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    JFoster Wrote: To not acknowledge the fact that the defense industry is our economic "bread and butter" is a very limited point of view as well. Defense companies make billions of dollars arming our over-populated military. Another base is just another dollar, especially in countries we shouldn't have any interest in in the first place, and the fight against communism argument has run its course, holding less water in regards to Cuba.

    I've been trying to explain that we have to divorce the two. I'm on board with reigning in the military industrial complex, but conflating the issue of the prison at GITMO with the overall defense industry is a red herring.

    Closing down GITMO is a human rights issue, not a budgetary one. The military budget is roughly $581 billion dollars this fiscal year. The prison at Guantanamo Bay will cost roughly $450 million out of that $581 billion budget. That translates to .078% of the military budget.

    We also have to remind ourselves that Congress has the power of the purse in this country and they have made it impossible for President Obama to do much of anything at GITMO without their approval. They have passed amendments explicitly prohibiting the President from transferring any prisoner being held there to American soil, even on military bases within our borders. He is not a king and can't just ignore them.

    He does have the power to negotiate prisoner swaps and transfer individuals being held at GITMO to a foreign country, but if no country wants them then we are back to square one. Of the remaining 91 prisoners being held there, 35 have been cleared for release but no country wants them. The remaining are in limbo because the Congress hasn't drafted new legislation establishing a military tribunal after the Supreme Court ruled their last attempt as unconstitutional.

    So it's not as simple as just saying "we need to close GITMO." I would love for us to close GITMO and dozens of other military bases, but we are a country of laws and the President can't just do whatever he wants.

    Again Jared, this is an self inflicted wound. The whole thing as so many things here are made complicated on purpose. Seldom in this country things can be done straightforward and with common sense I see it all around me. Like in FL they made a "texting behind the wheel" law which only says if you are caught in creating an accident while texting, you could be fined. Thus in other words you can text all you like and endanger anyone on the road; so I see a million crashes, but the cell phones are no where to be found. In the Netherlands it is not even allowed to have a cellphone in the car except a handsfree system; you get huge fines if you are caught with a cellphone on your ear. The same with he lake "O" pollution here in FL; they are now going to dig another "hole" to put the polluted water in; instead of stopping the pollution and fining the poluters.

    Getting back to Gitmo; our law system and lawyers and antiquated Constitution create all of this; this country drowns in paperwork but seldom is capable of designing understandable laws related to anything. In the meantime the lawyers make small fortunes on this case. The same with the stupid Apple case right now. Anywhere lawyers are involved it is dragged out to get the maximum return. Wake up Jared, this whole country is a huge "paper" chase, just to make "money"

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: Again Jared, this is an self inflicted wound. The whole thing as so many things here are made complicated on purpose. Seldom in this country things can be done straightforward and with common sense I see it all around me. Like in FL they made a "texting behind the wheel" law which only says if you are caught in creating an accident while texting, you could be fined. Thus in other words you can text all you like and endanger anyone on the road; so I see a million crashes, but the cell phones are no where to be found. In the Netherlands it is not even allowed to have a cellphone in the car except a handsfree system; you get huge fines if you are caught with a cellphone on your ear. The same with he lake "O" pollution here in FL; they are now going to dig another "hole" to put the polluted water in; instead of stopping the pollution and fining the poluters.

    The Netherlands is a country of roughly 17 million people whereas the United States is a country of over 300 million. America is also far (and I mean far) more diverse than the Netherlands, as well.

    A country of 300 million people can not govern in the same way a country of 17 million does. That's why we have three separate types of governments--local, state, and federal. The vast majority of governing in America is done at the local and state level. You don't like what's going on in Florida? Then MOVE! No one is forcing you to stay in Florida. We don't have walls preventing you from crossing state lines and moving to a different state.

    Dutch Wrote: Getting back to Gitmo; our law system and lawyers and antiquated Constitution create all of this; this country drowns in paperwork but seldom is capable of designing understandable laws related to anything. In the meantime the lawyers make small fortunes on this case. The same with the stupid Apple case right now. Anywhere lawyers are involved it is dragged out to get the maximum return. Wake up Jared, this whole country is a huge "paper" chase, just to make "money"

    Military, or JAG, lawyers make between three and five thousand dollars a month depending on their years of experience. That translates to between $36,000 and $60,000 a year. I'd hardly call that a small fortune, especially after taxes are taken out.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Your last line, I absolutely don't believe; they get reimbursed for everything they do, including travel cost etc. if out of the country like Cuba. It is just like the President; he does not make a huge salary, but everything gets paid for him including the cleaners.