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December 18, 2013

The Cost of Guantanamo

Last update on May 29, 2014.

Total Guantanamo Bay Prison Facility Costs

  • Cost of Guantanamo prison facility up to the end of 2014: $5.242 billion
  • Cost for 2013: $454.1 million
  • Not included in above costs:
    • Cost of camp headquarters, built in 2004: $13.5 million
    • Cost of Camp 7 (for “high-value” detainees): Classified
    • Cost of Justice Department, FBI, and CIA involvement in detention operations: Unknown

2013 Costs

  • Money appropriated by Congress for un-built fiber-optic cable: $40 million
  • Contractors, including intelligence analysts, librarians and linguists: $56.9 million
  • Money paid to Naval Base Guantanamo: $65.9 million
  • Military Commissions complex, including security, translation, flights from DC: $116 million
  • Review boards for 71 Guantanamo detainees not cleared for release: $14.1 million

Guantanamo Prison Compared to U.S. Federal Prison

  • Annual cost per detainee at Guantanamo: More than $2.9 million
  • Annual cost per prisoner at federal Supermax prison (Florence, CO): $78,000
  • Annual cost per prisoner at federal maximum security prison: $34,046



Carol Rosenberg, “Total U.S. tab tops $5B for Guantánamo prison,” The Miami Herald July 30, 2013: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/30/3532539/pentagon-guantanamo-tab-52b-and.html

Representative Adam Smith, Statement at Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on “Closing Guantanamo: The National Security, Fiscal, and Human Rights Implication,” July 24, 2013: http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/7-24-13SmithTestimony.pdf 

Department of Defense Guantanamo Cost Data, June 17, 2013: http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/uploads/pdfs/Costs-DOD-GTMO-Data-Response-to-Congressional-Ltr-61713.pdf