Today’s Miami Herald has a great story on the Pentagon’s unseemly rush to build “in three months, a mini-city on an abandoned airfield to stage the trials — two new courtrooms with space for two more, dining, housing and work space for up to 1,200 military and civilians working at the trials, and media, conference and classified information centers.”
The Pentagon is invoking emergency authority to fast-track funding of a comprehensive war-crimes court compound at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, according to a letter to Congress obtained by The Miami Herald.
Department of Defense spokesmen would not say when — if ever — the Pentagon had last invoked similar authority.
Nor would they specify which military construction already approved by Congress would be frozen to fund the courtroom project, which could cost as much as $125 million, according to U.S. government documents.
Since Congress hasn’t appropriated funds for this, the emergency money for the secret no-bid contract is coming out of something else — the war effort, if you will.
Hard to escape the feeling that the rush here is that once the Democrats are in Congress they won’t allow this sort of travesty, and Rumsfeld wants to, as Menachem Begin used to put it, “make facts” on the ground.