Regarding the Feb. 24 news article “Obama plan to shutter prison riles Republicans”: President Obama is trying to keep his campaign promise to shut down the prison at our naval base at Guantanamo Bay.
Several years ago it was calculated to have an annual operating cost of $1 million per prisoner. Today, with only 91 prisoners, the annual cost is estimated to be about $5 million per prisoner.
Some public statements indicate confusion about whether the president is trying to close our prison on the base or the entire naval base itself. Clearly, he is referring only to the prison, but future presidents might raise the question: Why does the United States still need a large naval base in Cuba?
This base is a self-contained American town with its own K-12 schools, a large shopping center, artificial turf fields for football and soccer, a new sports facility with two baseball fields and basketball courts, a golf course, fast-food restaurants and neighborhoods to house military personnel and families.
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Our annual defense budget contains billions to maintain bases like Guantanamo all over the world, and many have become militarily obsolete. Why not relocate some of the most important bases to the U.S. and bring their military personnel, civilian jobs and money home?
John F. Bridgers