Obama’s Gitmo by the Numbers

A graphic look at what happened to 779 detainees.


As of July 16, it’s been 166 days since the Obama administration missed its self-imposed deadline to close Guantanamo Bay. The first detainees arrived at the notorious prison camp over eight and a half years ago. With little public support for closing the base, and no political will to bring the most infamous detainees to trial, there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at what has become Obama’s Gitmo.

 

You can read more about Khadr—in his own words—here.

In June, the Washington Post reported that at least half a billion dollars had been spent renovating Guantanamo Bay since 9/11. That includes $219 million for constructing the prison camps, $54 million more for constructing the high-security facilities for the so-called “high-value detainees,” and $13 million for a courthouse complex. But it doesn’t include some $150 million a year in operating costs.

Photo: Flickr/Prisoner 159753 (Creative Commons).

All told, the cost of the post-9/11 Guantanamo has been somewhere around $2 billion. That includes the KFC/Taco Bell remodel.

Flickr/Paul Keller (Creative Commons).

A CNN/Opinion Dynamics poll conducted in March found that 60 percent of Americans opposed closing Guantanamo Bay. 

Photo: US Military

July 16, 2010 represented the 3108th day since the first prisoners arrived at Guantanamo Bay. The vast majority of the people detained at the prison arrived there in 2002 or 2003, meaning they have now been detained without trial for seven or more years. 

Photo: Flickr/Obama-Biden Transition (Creative Commons).

 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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