WASHINGTON -- The secretive U.S. military facility in Guantanamo, Cuba, that holds so-called high-value detainees like Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has drainage and foundation problems that make it "increasingly unsustainable," the general who oversees detention at the military base told a House panel on Wednesday.
Gen. John F. Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command, testified before the House Armed Services Committee that numerous Guantanamo facilities "are showing signs of deterioration and require frequent repair."
But Kelly stopped short of asking Congress for money to build a new version of the facility known as "Camp 7," as he did last year. Instead, The Miami Herald reports, a spokesman said Kelly would work within the current military budget "to get funding to maintain the existing facilities.”
Kelly said the mess hall, a temporary structure built in the 1990s that produces food for both troops and detainees, is "corroding after 11 years of continuous use, with holes in the roof and structural support beams."
He also said Guantanamo lacks "certain specialty medical capabilities necessary to treat potentially complex emergencies and various chronic diseases," which creates problems because the military is banned from bringing detainees to the U.S. for treatment.
President Barack Obama renewed his commitment to close Guantanamo detention facilities during his State of the Union speech this year.