New number-crunching by Democrats campaigning for Guantánamo’s closure says the Pentagon spends nearly a half-billion dollars a year — a whopping $2.7 million per prisoner — to operate its offshore prison complex in southeast Cuba.
The figure is by far the largest per-prisoner cost ever calculated and apparently, for the first time, includes troop costs. The ostensibly temporary Pentagon prison has, since it opened in 2002, been staffed largely by troops who received additional training for the assignment. The rotations typically last nine months to a year.
The cost for this year — $454.1 million to operate, staff and build at the prison complex — comes from a report by the Defense Department’s Office of the Comptroller.
It was first provided to Congress on June 27 by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and made public last week.