BIZARRE GOINGS ON AT GITMO
Hoover Institution media fellow Paul Sperry has written a revealing article entitled “’Waist’ of money at Guantanamo Bay” in the New York Post. Sperry’s article reveals evidence that the Obama Administration is spending millions of tax dollars catering to the “demands” of Gitmo detainees. Sperry is not alone. Cheryl K. Chumley of the Washington Times has also exposed instances of wasteful spending to satisfy detainee demands, as has Breitbart. If corroborated, this evidence raises profound questions of mismanagement at the nation’s highly controversial off-shore detention camp for enemy combatants.
There are 166 enemy combatants in detention at Gitmo. 106 of them are on a hunger strike. Of those, some 45 who risk death if not fed are restrained by Navy nurses who insert feeding tubes into their noses to permit enteral feeding to keep them alive, a forced feeding that occurs throughout the year except during Ramadan (out of respect for the fasting demands of the detainees). Most of the detainees make demands of their captors, expensive demands, to determine the extent to which they can gain a degree of power, influence, or control over their captors. Unbelievably, many of those demands have been met by the military high command.
As one would expect from enemy combatants who have either waged war against American forces or have conspired to kill Americans, Gitmo detainees endeavor to make management of their captivity as difficult as possible. What one might not expect, however, is that the U.S. Southern Command which is charged with management of Gitmo under Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly would cater to demands beyond those essential to survival. That appears to be happening and at a whopping cost for U.S. taxpayers. Ultimately, blame for the mismanagement lies with the Obama Administration and for the Presidents repeated and bizarre statements of sympathy for the plight of those detained.
Detainees at Gitmo are not fed standard issue prison diets but, instead, meals of hummus and other native dishes from an Islamic menu that specifically caters to their palates. According to Sperry’s report, the meal program includes “four choices of halal meals” a day. The diet is so rich that there are many plump detainees, a condition worrisome to medical authorities at the camp. To fight detainee fat the military acquired treadmills. According to Cheryl K. Chumley’s article for the Washington Times, the detainees balked at the treadmills purchased for them because they were U.S. made. Chumley explains that the military high command responded not by ignoring the complaint but by removing the U.S. made treadmills and ordering new ones that were Muslim made.
In addition, in his New York Post article Sperry reports, based on a military source with direct knowledge of the camp, military caretakers conceded to detainee demands that their standard issue Korans be given to them only by the camp’s Muslim librarian and not by any non-Muslim “infidels.” They also conceded to detainee demands that the American flag not be raised anywhere a detainee could see it.
Chumley reports that the standard issue prison items for detainees includes Islamic prayer beads and rugs and that they are supplied with access to over 10,000 Islamic books and videos. Breitbart likewise reported on those provisions to detainees.
Per capita, the Administration is spending three quarters of a million dollars on each of the 166 Gitmo detainees per year. In other words, Gitmo detainees are being accommodated to a degree that costs roughly ten times the average annual salary of Americans.
Unfortunately, planned spending will make that per capita figure rise over the next few years. A widely reported $150 million remodeling of the Gitmo complex is underway. New quarters, medical facilities, recreation facilities (including a $750,000 soccer field), library and conference rooms are planned for these 166 detainees, their lawyers, and their military caretakers. In an apparent gross over-reaction to criticisms of detainee mistreatment and water boarding, the military high command has gone far in the opposite direction, causing some in the military and in the media to view Gitmo as more akin to a five star hotel than a detention camp for enemy combatants.
Subscribe to the NewsWithViews Daily News Alerts!
The pandering to Gitmo detainees and the waste of tax dollars to render Gitmo a place of hospitality must come to an end. Rather than outfitting Gitmo to be an island retreat, the camp should be made into a place for the fair and speedy administration of justice. Gitmo detainees should be promptly tried either in a military tribunal (if the detainee attacked U.S. service men in active duty overseas) or in a federal court (if the detainee attacked U.S. civilians at home or abroad or conspired to commit an act of terror against U.S. civilians). Those convicted of acts of terror should be executed or incarcerated, depending on the individual’s culpability for the ultimate act of murder, mayhem, or terror.
Click here to visit NewsWithViews.com home page.