Obama considers moving Guantanamo detainees to Colorado
A team from the U.S. Defense Department will visit both a state and a federal prison in Colorado to assess their possible use for housing detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, senior U.S. officials said Friday.
The visit comes as the Obama administration struggles to shut down the Guantanamo detention center and find a location within the U.S. to house its detainees. Within the next two weeks, the team will visit the Colorado State Penitentiary in Canon City and a medium-security federal prison in Florence, officials said.
The Pentagon team also has surveyed the Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, South Carolina. The reviews assess construction costs and other changes needed to house the detainees and conduct military commission trials.
In Colorado, the medium-security facility is on the same grounds as the maximum-security prison known as Supermax. It would need upgrades, said Cmdr. Gary Ross, a Pentagon spokesman.
“These efforts are consistent with our commitment to working with Congress to close Guantanamo, and are intended to help inform Congress of how we can meet this goal and what it will cost,” Ross said.