The Pentagon delay of a plan to vaccinate Guantanamo Bay terrorist prisoners has once again highlighted the outlandish cost of "the most expensive prison on earth," Fox News reported.
The U.S. has spent $161.5 million housing confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, according to conservative estimates. He was slated to be vaccinated as he awaits his pandemic-delayed death penalty trial, per the report.
But the Pentagon has stopped the plan amid blowback this weekend.
Vaccinating a terrorist to keep him alive to sit on a trial seeking the death penalty was criticized by many.
Gitmo has 40 inmates and the report estimates the cost to house them is between $9.5 million and $13 million per year, while the most costly "supermax" prison housing Americans is $78,000 per year, per inmate, according to Fox News.
The low-end estimate of $9.5 million – from an NPR report – times the 17 years Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has been awaiting trial, brings the estimate to $161.5 million. The New York Times estimated the cost per prisoner to be higher at $13 million, potentially $221 to house him.
Since its inception, Gitmo has cost American taxpayers $6 billion, Fox News reported.
"I think it's crazy," former President Donald Trump said. "Look, President Obama said that Guantánamo Bay would be closed, and he never got it done."
A whistleblower complaint in 2019 alleged "gross financial waste" and "gross mismanagement" at Gitmo, Fox News reported.
"America's tiniest boutique prison, reserved exclusively for alleged geriatric jihadists," according to Capt. Brian L. Mizer, a Navy lawyer who has represented Guantanamo detainees.
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