The Obama administration is considering the option of building a “Guantánamo North” from scratch as it writes a proposal to Congress on how to close the controversial prison camps in southeast Cuba by moving some captives to lockups in the United States, a Defense Department official with knowledge of the plan says.
While the Pentagon has only acknowledged scouting U.S. military lockups in Kansas and South Carolina — to the consternation of those states’ governors — the administration is considering other sites and communities across the United States.
“We’re working with the inter agency [other government departments] to come up with some other ideas, some other places we’ll visit,” the official told the Miami Herald. “Of course, Gitmo was built on a place where there was no detention facility. So there is the option of what you could call a greenfield at a location where there is nothing now.”
The draft plan is being written for Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s signature, according to those who have seen it, and includes legislative fixes that would allow construction or renovations of facilities in the U.S., transfers of detainees and might include housing for guards. Such a move would likely require fast-track appropriations for military construction.