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Thread: Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp

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    Arrow Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp

    Location: Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a large harbor surrounded by steep hills on the south side of Cuba. Under U.S. governmental control, the camp is adjacent to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.


    Ambiance: Guantanamo, or "Gitmo" as it's called, holds people determined to be enemy combatants, including hundreds of prisoners from the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syria). Prisoners are blindfolded when moved from one part of the facility to another, and banned from talking in groups of four or more. Human rights organizations have charged that prisoners at Guantanamo have been tortured and mistreated.



    Famous Guests: Mohamed al-Kahtani, an alleged member of al-Qaeda, is a detainee at Guantanamo. He supposedly intended to participate in the Sept. 11 attacks but was detained by immigration officials.



    Activities: According to the U.S. Defense Department, Guantanamo offers several recreation activities, including basketball, volleyball, soccer and board games. It also houses a library of 3,500 books.


    Staff: There are about 400 prisoners at Gitmo these days, and a total military presence of more than 2,000.

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    Default Ten Facts about Guantanamo

    Defense Department Update September 14, 2006 - Ten Facts about Guantanamo

    1. The detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility include bin Laden’s bodyguards, bomb makers, terrorist trainers and facilitators, and other suspected terrorists.
    2. More money is spent on meals for detainees than on the U.S. troops stationed there. Detainees are offered up to 4,200 calories a day. The average weight gain per detainee is 20 pounds.
    3. The Muslim call to prayer sounds five times a day. Arrows point detainees toward the holy city of Mecca.
    4. Detainees receive medical, dental, psychiatric, and optometric care at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. In 2005, there were 35 teeth cleanings, 91 cavities filled, and 174 pairs of glasses issued.
    5. The International Committee of the Red Cross visits detainees at the facility every few months. More than 20,000 messages between detainees and their families have been exchanged.
    6. Recreation activities include basketball, volleyball, soccer, pingpong, and board games. High-top sneakers are provided.
    7. Departing detainees receive a Koran, a jean jacket, a white T-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, high-top sneakers, a gym bag of toiletries, and a pillow and blanket for the flight home.
    8. Entertainment includes Arabic language TV shows, including World Cup soccer games. The library has 3,500 volumes available in 13 languages — the most requested book is “Harry Potter.”
    9. Guantanamo is the most transparent detention facility in the history of warfare. The Joint Task Force has hosted more than 1,000 journalists from more than 40 countries.
    10. In 2005, Amnesty International stated that “the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has become the gulag of our times.”

    From the Department of Defense Office of Public Affairs – OSD Writers’ Group

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