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White House says Biden will shut down Guantanamo Bay prison by the end of his term

The Biden administration said that they intended to shutter the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba by the end of the president’s term.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the intended closure during the media briefing on Friday.

“That certainly is our goal and our intention,” said Psaki when asked about the closing of the detention center.

“And we are three weeks in, I realize, at a certain point I can’t say that anymore, but we are still just three and a half weeks in, so we are undertaking an NSC process, which is how it should work. Through that, to work with the interagency, to assess the current state of play that the Biden administration has inherited from the previous administration,” she explained.

“I would note that in order to see this process through completely and thoroughly, there are a number of key policy roles that still need to be filled within the interagency,” Psaki added.

If the Biden administration were successful in their intention to close the prison it would fulfill a promise made by the former Obama administration in Feb. 2016.

“For many years, it has been clear that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay does not advance our national security—it undermines it,” former President Barack Obama said at the time, with then-Vice President Joe Biden standing next to him.

At the time there were 91 detainees at the prison, but there are currently only 40 left.

Among those detained at the prison is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the al-Qaeda terrorist who masterminded the September 11 attacks that killed 2,997 Americans. In January it was reported that detainees at the center would be given the option to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

Here’s the video of Psaki’s comments:

Biden Seeks to Close Prison on Guantanamo Bay After Review: Psaki

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American taxpayers have paid an astronomical amount of money to detain 9/11 mastermind at Guantanamo Bay

A jaw-dropping report revealed the shocking amount of American taxpayer money that has been spent on imprisoning Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks, and the Al Qaeda terrorist who claimed responsibility for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Less than a month after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was put on the FBI’s “most wanted terrorists” list, and he had a $25 million reward for information leading to his capture. On March 1, 2003, Mohammed was captured in Rawalpindi, near the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. U.S. intelligence was tipped off by an informant, who messaged American authorities, “I am with KSM,” the New York Times reported.

On Sept. 6, 2006, then-President George W. Bush announced that “Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, and 11 other terrorists in CIA custody have been transferred to the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay.” Previously, the terror suspects were allegedly kept at “black site” CIA detention facilities in Eastern Europe, as reported by ABC News.

In 2006, Bush said there were 455 detainees being held at Gitmo.

The New York Times reported, “Of the roughly 780 people who have been detained at the United States military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 731 have been transferred and 40 remain. In addition, nine detainees died while in custody.”

There have been mind-boggling costs to house Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the terrorist onslaught in 2001 that killed nearly 3,000 by weaponizing hijacked commercial airliners to bring down the Twin Towers, attack the Pentagon, and crash a plane into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

“The U.S. government has spent an estimated $161.5 million housing the suspected mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks – Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,” Fox News reported on Sunday. “It’s not exactly clear how much the federal government spends housing its Gitmo prisoners, but it’s somewhere between $9.5 and $13 million per prisoner, per year.”

The New York Times reported in 2019:

Then there is Guantánamo Bay, where the expense now works out to about $13 million for each of the 40 prisoners being held there.

According to a tally by The New York Times, the total cost last year of holding the prisoners — including the men accused of plotting the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — paying for the troops who guard them, running the war court and doing related construction, exceeded $540 million.

The $13 million per prisoner cost almost certainly makes Guantánamo the world’s most expensive detention program. And nearly 18 years after the George W. Bush administration took a crude compound called Camp X-Ray and hastily established it as a holding station for enemy fighters picked up in the war on terrorism, it has taken on a sprawling and permanent feel, with the expense most likely to continue far into the future.

After the report was published, then-President Donald Trump was asked about the exorbitant Guantanamo costs.

“I think it’s crazy. It costs a fortune to operate it and I think it’s crazy,” Trump told reporters in September 2019. He added that “we’re looking into that.”

Trump then criticized former President Barack Obama for not shutting down the infamous prison in Cuba after he promised to do so during his 2008 run for the White House.

“He was going to have everybody removed and Guantanamo Bay closed up by the time he left office and he didn’t do that. He didn’t do that either,” Trump told reporters. “So we’re stuck with it.”

NPR reported in 2019 that American taxpayers were annually paying at least $9.5 million per detainee in Guantanamo Bay.

“The U.S. military court and prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have cost more than $6 billion to operate since opening nearly 18 years ago and still churn through more than $380 million a year despite housing only 40 prisoners today,” NPR reported.

“That does not include the $60 million annual expense of operating Guantanamo’s naval base or the salaries of military personnel, including the 1,800 guards overseeing the detention center’s prisoners,” according to the whistleblower report.

The report alleged that hearings held at Guantanamo’s military court in 2014 “cost taxpayers the equivalent of $700,000 an hour.”

A Defense Department report in 2013 estimated the annual operating costs of Guantanamo Bay’s prison and court system to be $454.1 million. “At the time, there were 166 prisoners at Guantanamo, making the per-prisoner cost $2.7 million,” according to the New York Times.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed made headlines this week when it was reported that 40 Guantanamo Bay detainees, including KSM, would be getting vaccinated.

“COVID-19 vaccinations will be offered to all detainees and prisoners. It will be administered on a voluntary basis and in accordance with the Department’s priority distribution plan,” a spokesperson for the Department of Defense told CBS News.

There was immediate outrage that suspects said to be involved in the 9/11 attacks would get the COVID-19 vaccination before millions of Americans.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tweeted, “President Biden told us he would have a plan to defeat the virus on day 1. He just never told us that it would be to give the vaccine to terrorists before most Americans.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wrote on Twitter. “How the hell does this make sense??”

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) said, “It is inexcusable and un-American that President Biden is choosing to prioritize vaccinations for convicted terrorists in Gitmo over vulnerable American seniors or veterans,”

Following the uproar by Republican lawmakers, the Pentagon “paused” its decision to vaccinate the prisoners.

“No Guantanamo detainees have been vaccinated. We’re pausing the plan to move forward, as we review force protection protocols. We remain committed to our obligations to keep our troops safe,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby stated on Saturday.

covid Gitmo Guantanamo Bay Intelwars Terrorist Vaccine

Gitmo prisoners will be offered COVID-19 vaccines next week — ahead of most Americans

The prisoners held by the United States government at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been cleared by the Pentagon to receive COVID-19 vaccines as early as next week if they so choose, placing alleged terrorists well ahead of the vast majority of Americans in line for inoculation.

What are the details?

The New York Times reported Friday that “a prosecutor in the case against five prisoners accused of conspiring in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001” wrote to defense attorneys Thursday, “that an official in the Pentagon has just signed a memo approving the delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine to the detainee population in Guantanamo.”

The prosecutor, Clayton Trivett, Jr., also noted that the detainees could receive their first dose of the inoculation “on a voluntary basis” as early as Monday.

The Times reported that residents of the U.S. Naval base began receiving the shots on Jan. 8, “but the Trump administration had declined to say whether prisoners would be vaccinated.”

Now, under the Biden administration, the Pentagon has given the all-clear for vaccinating accused terrorists such as purported 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (pictured above) protection against COVID-19 as the majority of the American public—including its vulnerable elderly population—has been told to wait for months.

A spokesman for the Department of Defense confirmed the news to the New York Post, telling the outlet that coronavirus vaccines will be “offered to all detainees and prisoners.”

The outlet noted:

Forty detainees remain at the United States military prison in Cuba, including the man accused of plotting the worst attack on US soil, which claimed 2,977 innocent lives on Sept. 11, 2001, and has since been linked to thousands of other deaths.

The Daily Mail reported that the Gitmo prioritization is occurring as the U.S. is experiencing shortages of the vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna, noting that only 26 million Americans have received a coronavirus shot.

The outlet also pointed to several social media users expressing disgust at the Biden administration’s decision, including one person who wrote, “Here is a trivia question. Who gets the vaccine first a 74 year old diabetic living in NE Philly or the guy who planned the 911 attacks sitting in jail in Guantanamo bay?”

While some people have expressed hesitation at getting the vaccines, others are scrambling to jump ahead of the line for the jab. A Mexican television host flew to Florida and was somehow able to obtain the shot ahead of the elderly Floridians who had stood in long lines, and Hollywood elites are reportedly doing all they can to skip the line themselves.

However, accused American murderers have apparently been given priority over accused Gitmo murderers: O.J. Simpson was able to get his shot on Friday.