The Pentagon is invoking emergency authority to fast-track funding of a comprehensive war-crimes court compound at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, according to a letter to Congress obtained by The Miami Herald.Are there ever going to be limits on what the Pentagon will waste? Two courtrooms = a mini city of $125 million!
Department of Defense spokesmen would not say when -- if ever -- the Pentagon had last invoked similar authority.
Nor would they specify which military construction already approved by Congress would be frozen to fund the courtroom project, which could cost as much as $125 million, according to U.S. government documents.
But, in a Nov. 17 letter to several Republican and Democratic senators and House members, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England explains the unusual move this way:
``Due to national security implications and extreme urgency, emergency construction was authorized pursuant to Section 2808 of title 10, United States Code.''
Congressional staff members say the price tag and the funding mechanism have stirred protests among key members of Congress with fiscal and operational oversight of the Department of Defense.
The Pentagon wants to build, in three months, a mini-city on an abandoned airfield to stage the trials -- two new courtrooms with space for two more, dining, housing and work space for up to 1,200 military and civilians working at the trials, and media, conference and classified information centers.
I'm a very lucky person with every allergy known to man but still happy to be enjoying a wonderful life living in the best place in the world!