Coming soon to Gitmo: Family visits?

Some Republicans, after hearing about the talks, appeared to balk at such access to the Guantanamo Bay naval station. In an early version of the annual legislation to authorize the activities of the Defense Department, Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (Calif.), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, inserted language that would ban family visits, which have never occurred at the prison.

But the latest version of the bill states only that Defense Department funding appropriated for fiscal 2012 may not be used “to permit any person who is a family member of an individual detained at Guantanamo to visit the individual.”

That would not rule out a visitation program underwritten by the Red Cross…

Because Guantanamo is off-shore, families would not necessarily need to enter the mainland United States to reach the prison, and the visits could be staged from a neighboring country willing to allow the families to move into and out of the base.