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20 May, 2009 11:52

Democrats reject Gitmo funds

Barack Obama’s controversial decision to shut down Guantanamo Bay made headlines around the world. But while most Democrats initially supported the plan, now they’re refusing to finance the move.

Even Obama’s allies in the Senate are not too keen on providing the funding necessary to close down Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Apparently, the Justice Department and Pentagon are not going to get the 80 million dollars they need to relocate some 240 detainees. This is because the Obama administration has yet to come up with a concrete plan on what to do – questions arise about where they will be placed.

Democrats would also indefinitely bar the government from transferring any of the facility’s prisoners into the United States, though the ban could be relaxed in subsequent legislation.

And, of course, Republicans have been opposed to closing Guantanamo.

“It’s very important that the American people and the world know exactly what happens to these people,” AP quotes Republican Senator Lindsey Graham as saying.

“Where are they going to be, how are they going to be imprisoned, how are they going to be tried, what are the rules regarding their release? Until that is done, I think it is a mistake to talk about closing Guantanamo Bay.”

So the Obama administration at the moment is finding itself in a bind concerning this issue.

A vote is expected on Wednesday.

The Senate move matches steps taken by the House of Representatives, and threatens to paralyze the Obama administration’s entire plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility by January 2010.