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Guantanamo Bay - the most expensive prison on Earth $800,000 per prisoner per year

The cost to house a captive at Guantánamo Bay is $800,000 per year, far in excess of other federal or state lockups.

Broadly, Southcom spokesman Army Col. Scott Malcom broke out last year’s $139 million budget into four huge pots:

$61.8 million went to “the intelligence collection mission,” hiring analysts and distributing the fruit of interrogations around the world, maintaining an intelligence database

$35 million went to “base operating support,” such as housing, water, plumbing and utilities

$30 million went to running the prison, such as “staff, guards, overall detainee operations.”

$12 million went to the war court, hiring aircraft and staff and maintaining a maximum-security court and lawyers offices.

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- Guards get combat pay, just like troops in Afghanistan, without the risk of being blown up. Some commanders get to bring their families to this war-on-terror deployment. And each captive gets $38.45 worth of food a day.

The Pentagon detention center that started out in January 2002 as a collection of crude open-air cells guarded by Marines in a muddy tent city is today arguably the most expensive prison on earth, costing taxpayers $800,000 annually for each of the 171 captives by Obama administration reckoning.

That’s more than 30 times the cost of keeping a captive on U.S. soil.

It’s still funded as an open-ended battlefield necessity, although the last prisoner arrived in March 2008. But it functions more like a gated community in an American suburb than a forward-operating base in one of Afghanistan’s violent provinces.

Congress, charged now with cutting $1.5 trillion from the budget by Christmas, provided $139 million to operate the center last year, and has made every effort to keep it open — even as a former deputy commander of the detention center calls it “expensive” and “inefficient.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/08/2493042/guantanamo-bay...