The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Mark Seibel, McClatchy Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — A federal judge agreed Thursday that the Pentagon does not have to reveal how much was paid to build the crumbling, secret Camp 7 at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center, rejecting a Miami Herald bid to make the number public.

U.S. District Judge Berryl Howell in Washington, D.C., said that the document that contained the figure had been properly classified and denied a request from The Herald‘s Carol Rosenberg that it be made public.

In a making her decision, Howell relied on a secret filing from the Defense Department that neither Rosenberg nor her attorneys were allowed to see.

Camp 7 is the secret prison facility at Guantanamo where alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and 14 other former CIA captives called “high value detainees” are held.

Rosenberg sued the Department of Defense in October, alleging that the Pentagon had acted improperly when it withheld the document, saying it contained information “regarding intelligence activities, sources, or methods.”

In her suit, Rosenberg said the cost of building Camp 7 was of compelling public interest because the U.S. Southern Command had sought $69 million for a replacement because the current facility is in danger of collapsing. The House Armed Services Committee approved the expenditure, but the Senate has yet to approve the proposal and it is thought unlikely that it will.

Rosenberg had first sought the cost of Camp 7 in an April 2009 Freedom of Information Act filing as part of her reporting on the amount of money the U.S. spends to operate the detention center for terrorist suspects, which currently holds 149 men, most of whom have been cleared for transfer to other countries.

Since Rosenberg began her reporting, members of Congress have offered varying estimates on the cost of the prison facility, with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, saying last year that the U.S. currently is spending $2.7 million per inmate to operate the prison. In a story in 2011, Rosenberg estimated the cost at $800,000 per inmate a year.

Rosenberg said she was disappointed in the judge’s decision. “It seems odd to me that after the U.S. Army furnished Congress with the cost of a new Camp 7, we the people can’t know what we paid for the old one,” she said.

AFP Photo/Mladen Antonov

Interested in national news? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Dominic Pezzola, center rear with grey beard, confronts Capitol Police officer outside U.S. Senate Chambers.

Photo from U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

The next time that right-wing gaslighters—whether Tucker Carlson or other far-right pundits, or Republican congressmen—try to valorize the insurrectionists who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6 by depicting them as harmless protesters, it might be helpful for everyone to review the case of Proud Boy Dominic Pezzola, charged with conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, assault, and multiple other felonies.

Keep reading... Show less

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy falsely claimed on Monday that President Joe Biden's spending plan would add $5 trillion to the national debt. But he has previously acknowledged that it is funded by raising taxes on the rich and corporations.

On Fox News, the California Republican slammed the proposed Build Back Better plan — which would invest about $3.5 trillion in climate change, clean energy, health care, paid leave, child care, and free community college and pre-K — and the $550 billion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act."

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}