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New Date for Transfer of Gitmo Detainees: 2011 at the Earliest

Posted Dec 23, 2009 7:35 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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President Obama’s Jan. 22 deadline for the closing of the Guantanamo detention facility will likely be missed by at least a year.

Lack of money is the problem, the New York Times reports. Obama has decided the federal government should buy an Illinois prison to house the detainees that carries a price tag of about $150 million.

Democratic leaders balked at including money for the prison and security improvements in a 2010 military spending bill; it passed Dec. 19 without the funds, the story says. The administration now hopes to include funding in appropriations legislation for the 2011 fiscal year.

After the purchase, installing security improvements, such as fencing, towers and cameras, could take another eight to 10 months.

As a result, officials tell the Times, they believe the transfer of Guantanamo terrorism suspects will take place in 2011, at the earliest.

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