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Feinstein Releases GAO Report on U.S. Alternatives to Guantanamo Bay Prison


Location: Washington, DC

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, today released a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that evaluates the suitability and availability of prison facilities inside the United States capable of safely and securely receiving the remaining 166 detainees currently in custody at Guantanamo Bay.

"This report demonstrates that if the political will exists, we could finally close Guantanamo without imperiling our national security," Feinstein said. "The GAO report makes clear that numerous prisons exist inside the United States--operated by both the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice--capable of holding the 166 detainees who remain at Guantanamo in an environment that meets the security requirements."

Feinstein requested the report "Guantánamo Bay Detainees: Facilities and Factors for Consideration If Detainees Were Brought to the United States" in 2008.

"To say that high-risk detainees cannot be held securely in a maximum security prison is just plain wrong," Feinstein added. "The United States already holds 373 individuals convicted of terrorism in 98 facilities across the country. As far as I know, there hasn't been a single security problem reported in any of these cases. This fact outweighs not only the high cost of maintaining Guantanamo--which costs more than $114 million a year--but also provides the same degree of security without the criticism of operating a military prison in an isolated location."

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