Yesterday, the Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg reported that the Pentagon has halted its plan to build a massive trial facility in the Guantánamo Bay naval base.
In November, the Pentagon discretely posted a notice on the internet, seeking builders for what the St. Louis Post-Dispatch called “a kangaroo compound.” Halliburton was rumored to be a prospective contractor for the project.
The complex, which would have accommodated thousands of detainees and personnel, had a projected cost of $100 million. It would have housed trials conducted under the legal regime of the new Military Commissions Act.
However, the dubious constitutionality of the MCA and incoming Democratic Congress now put the future of the Administration’s detention policies in question. The Pentagon attempted to bypass congressional approval for the project by citing national security concerns and its power to independently authorize emergency military construction. Nevertheless, on Friday Senator Dianne Feinstein, who sits on both the Military Construction and Armed Services committees, announced that the Pentagon had withdrawn its plans.