Pentagon Rushes to Build Mega-Complex at Gitmo — Before Dems Take Congress?

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.

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2 Responses to Pentagon Rushes to Build Mega-Complex at Gitmo — Before Dems Take Congress?

  1. Phill says:

    If the funds have not been appropriated then the sensible thing to do would be to send the contractor a note explaining the situation and the fact that they should expect to be returning the funds when constitutional government is restored.

    Alternatively attach a rider to a critical bill that stipulates than no contractor who has received funds from a program not authorized by Congress can bid on or receive funds under any government contract until the funds have been repaid in full with interest.

  2. Go Democrats! says:

    Phill,

    Are you kidding me? I am a Democrat (obviously by my name), but as far as I am concerned we need to build a stronger interrogation room/court tribunal in Cuba. For Constitutional reasons, we cannot build one in America, but there is no other way to combat terrorism. They fight with flame torches, and we can only counter it with a cigarette lighter? Come on buddy… let’s be realistic here. America’s values may have to drop slightly, but there is no other way to destroy terrorism when the terrorist army is willing to die for their cause.

    Think about it… when someone is willing to die for their cause, then the whole institution of warfare changes… now there cannot be any POW’s, or truces… there are only two choices, either ALL of them die, or ALL of us die. Quite frankly, I’d rather wipe them all off the map.

    There was only one way to stop the kamikazees of WW2.. and that was drop the atomic bomb (not once… but twice!). Perhaps there was another option I guess, and that is to fight 15-30 years of war and let millions of people die… oh wait, that’s whats happening in IRAQ right now.

    I may be a Democrat… but I support this project in Guantanamo.

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