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NPR investigation data Guantánamo expenditure, exclusive of whistle: NPR



An NPR investigation finds that the military court and the prison in Guantnamno Bay, Cuba, have cost taxpayers billions of dollars, with billions more expected. Above is an American flag seen through the War Crimes Courtroom at the US Naval Base at Guantnamo Bay on October 1

7, 2012.

Michelle Shepard / Bloomberg via Getty Images


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Michelle Shepard / Bloomberg via Getty Images

An investigation by NPR finds that the military court and the prison in Guantnamno Bay, Cuba, have cost taxpayers billions of dollars, with billions more expected. Above is an American flag seen through the courtroom for war crimes at the US Naval Base at Guantnamno Bay on October 17, 2012.

Michelle Shepard / Bloomberg via Getty Images

The US military court and the prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have cost more than $ 6 billion to operate since they opened almost 18 years ago and still lose more than $ 380 million a year despite only housing 40 catches today.

Included in that amount are taxpayer-funded charter flights that often fly just a few passengers to and from the island; hundreds of thousands of dollars of state-of-the-art electronic devices that are deliberately destroyed each year due to spills of classified information; some Pentagon-funded defense attorneys who bill about half a million dollars a year; and the total legal costs of nearly $ 60 million per year despite Guantánamo having only one final conviction.

Criticism of these expenditures also comes from Guantánamo. A former top lawyer there has filed a federal time for complaints of "gross financial waste" and "gross mismanagement", NPR has learned.

Retired Air Force Col. Gary Brown also claims that he and the former chief of the military court were fired for negotiating a controversial cost-cutting proposal with defense attorneys: let Guantánamo prisoners – including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four accomplices in September 11, 2001, plead guilty to exchanges against life in prison than before the death penalty. Such foundations, Brown says, "would stop wasting resources."

"My two words to sum up my time at military commissions were" Wait – what? "" said Brown, who was legal adviser to the head of Guantánamo's military mission from April 2017 until both were fired 10 months later. "At least a couple of times a week there was an instance where someone would tell me some costs we had or any person we paid for, and I would just have to stop in my tracks and say, 'Wait – what? How can that be? & # 39; Many of them involved unnecessary spending or waste of money. "