In this 2006 article, Washington Post’s Al Kamen is presenting us a list of ten facts about Guantanamo, which was emitted by the White house, or more specifically Donald Rumsfeld’s speechwriters:
The first fact notes that the inmates include some truly nasty terrorist trainers and bombmakers.
The second says “More money is spent on meals for detainees than” on U.S. troops stationed there. “The average weight gain per detainee is 20 pounds.”
“The Muslim call to prayer sounds five times a day,” we are told, and arrows point “toward the holy city of Mecca.”
The prisoners receive free medical, dental and psychiatric care, and in 2005 “there were 35 teeth cleanings.” The other 400 or so housed there will have to wait awhile.
Fact No. 5 notes that the Red Cross visits “every few months” and that there’s regular contact between the terrorism suspects and their families.
“Recreation activities include basketball, volleyball, soccer, ping-pong and board games,” according to Fact No. 6. “High-top sneakers are provided.”
We are told that upon release, everyone gets “a Koran, a jean jacket, a white T-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, high-top sneakers” — a second pair — “a gym bag of toiletries” (remember not to try to take the liquids onboard), and “a pillow and blanket for the flight home.”
Fact No. 8, probably one of the most important, notes that, contrary to what you might have heard, the prisoners actually really want to be in Guantanamo. “The mother of a detainee stated: ‘Of course they wanted to stay there. . . . They had human rights and good living standards there. They had dentists and good meals — everything they wanted.’ ” Turns out, this quote from a March 2004 edition of the London Times was a Russian mother comparing Guantanamo with Russian jails.
There was “Arabic language TV,” a large library with books in 13 languages. “The most requested book is ‘Harry Potter,’ ” we’re told.
And Fact No. 10. “In 2005, Amnesty International stated that ‘the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has become the gulag of our times.’ ”
This last fact was intended as a shot at Amnesty for comparing a veritable five-star hotel with the infamous Soviet labor camps. After all, the commies never gave away high-tops.
So nothing to worry about, Guantanamo is just another hotel, where checking out might be a tiny bit more diffcult than elsewhere…