Jul 18 2010
No wonder they don’t want to leave. Obama has given Muslim terrorist detainees access to PlayStation games, SKYPE online video chat to talk to their al-Qaeda family back home, a 17,000-book library, satellite TV, and a choice of ‘life-skills’ classes.
At Camp 6, a minimum security facility within sight of bright Caribbean waters, detainees can now watch flatscreen TVs suspended from above, play foosball, or attend classes on personal finance.
At first, detainees were offered four channels via satellite television, but now detainees can choose from among 18 channels, including Al Jazeera English, a sports channel, and broadcasts focusing on Tunisia, Libya or Kuwait, according to McManus, who said “nature shows are very popular.”
While the 181 men being held in the prison wait to learn their fates after the administration fell through on its January 2010 deadline to move them out, 90 percent now live in a communal environment worthy of a family resort.
Only “highly compliant” detainees can be a part of “communal living,” which locks detainees in their cells for four hours a day and means they are “afforded more liberties” and “more freedom of movement,” said Lt. Col. Andrew McManus, who oversees operations for the detention camps at Guantanamo Bay, as Fox News tagged along for a tour of the facilities there.
Detainees were very interested in watching the World Cup, but Guantanamo Bay is “in a bad satellite area” so “we had a little problem,” he said. To resolve the issue, detention facility officials began recording World Games and playing them the next morning. As a result, detainees began playing soccer more frequently, and the hospital at the Guantanamo Bay camps increasingly saw more injuries related to the game, one hospital official said.
Detainees are able to enroll in classes, including English classes and the new “life skills” class, which begins with “basic building blocks of personal finance” and then moves into “business finance” and other “vocational” subjects, said McManus, calling the skills class “probably the biggest recent change.”
At Camp 4, another minimum security facility, detainees live among barbed-wire fences and can play games on a Playstation3 console or enjoy a game of foosball, just feet away from a copy of President Obama’s executive order, signed two days after taking office, to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camps by the end of January 2010.
McManus said detainees get a “sense of hope” from the U.S. government press releases often posted on boards inside the camps, announcing the transfer of detainees to their home countries. . “I think a lot of them are realizing they’re going to get released,” McManus said. “They know some of their brothers are leaving, so they see hope because of that.” (At least Obama’s promise of hope and change is working out for somebody)
“SKYPE allows them to see their family members,” McManus said. “They can have their whole family — they can have a dozen family members — in that screen right now.” But, McManus said, the Skype sessions are monitored “so they won’t give away force protection information.” “Obviously we don’t want them to say, ‘I’m here at this camp. There’s this many people here, and this is where the guards are,'” he said.
President Obama is now six months past his self-imposed deadline, and Guantanamo Bay is not expected to close anytime soon, but detainees’ moods are “a little bit better” thanks to the changes brought under the Obama administration, according to McManus, the deputy commander for the Joint Detention Group.
In fact, he said, the new changes have made the detention camps more “quiet.” And with a better environment for detainees comes a better environment for the guards overseeing them. (Just what terrorist detainees deserve, peace and quiet and all the luxuries they would never have at home. And all of us get to pay for it.) FOX NEWS H/T John
And let’s not forget, even BEFORE it had been turned into a Club Med resort, the terrorists DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE GITMO.
Buried in a blog item by Newsweek’s Michael Isikoffwas this bombshell. But the final irony is that many of the detainees may not even want to be transferred to Thomson and could conceivably even raise their own legal roadblocks to allow them to stay at Gitmo.
Falkoff notes that many of his clients, while they clearly want to go home, are at least being held under Geneva Convention conditions in Guantánamo. At Thomson, he notes, the plans call for them to be thrown into the equivalent of a “supermax” security prison under near-lockdown conditions.
“As far as our clients are concerned, it’s probably preferable for them to remain at Guantánamo,” he says.
The strident left-wing critiques of the Guantanamo facility have all centered around the fact that detainees there are horribly mistreated and conditions unbearable. But when push comes to shove, it would seem concerns about Guantanamo are overblown, and the prisoners there know that being held under the Geneva conventions outside the U.S. is much preferable to a maximum security prison in the U.S. Washington Examiner
.Major BOOT KISSING at Gitmo…or should I say SANDAL KISSING
There is a foosball game in Guantanamo Bay’s Camp 4 detention centre that many of the terror suspects who are locked up here found offensive. It wasn’t the game itself. Indeed, playing foosball (a table-top soccer game) or playing soccer itself is one of the most popular activities at Camp 4, the facility that houses Canadian terror suspect Omar Khadr.
Instead, what annoyed the inmates were the faces of the foosball players. They were too western-looking or, in some accounts, they offended some fundamentalist Islamists because of their association with idol worship.
So the U.S. military filed off the faces so that the terror suspects wouldn’t be offended.
This story is told by U.S. military guards to journalists who tour the prison facilities here. The military’s PR people are trying to turn the narrative here from one of torture and abuse to their new motto: Safe, humane, legal, and transparent. And the foosball story is part of that narrative. Winnepeg Sun