WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) released the following statement on President Obama’s plan to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay:
“Our continued refusal to close the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba is an insult to American values and a waste of taxpayer dollars. Congress must act to shut it down now. We are spending some $450 million per year to subsidize a high-profile recruiting tool for terrorists around the world, paying over 2,300 personnel to guard 91 detainees at a cost of around $3.3 million dollars per prisoner each year. The comparative cost at a federal maximum security prison—the kind that we are using to hold some of history’s most infamous terrorists—is only $70,000 for each prisoner every year. President Obama’s plan makes it clear that there are safer, more cost-effective, and more humane alternatives to this ongoing violation of human rights. It is time for us to bring this issue to a vote and end this dark chapter of our history.”