The horror! The horror! “Harry Potter films for hire, strawberries for tea and shoes laid out by the bed with military precision… The images that show what life is REALLY like in Guantanamo Bay,” by Sarah Johnson for the Daily Mail, March 11:
It holds some of the world’s most dangerous prisoners and is a byword for terror.
But astonishing new pictures have given a fresh glimpse of what life is really like inside Guantanamo Bay – the top-security, barb-wired holding pen for extremists captured in the war on terror.
Far from languishing in a dank and desolate dungeon as many in the outside world imagine, inmates are in fact able to rent Harry Potter movies, borrow car magazines and even get strawberries for their tea.
Detainees wake up each morning in a room equipped with a private lavatory, sink and toilet paper before dressing in the camp’s standard issue clothing, laid out neatly on their bed.
At mealtimes detainees can choose, depending on their dietary requirements, from a selection of vegetarian or fish dishes – with lemons to drizzle – with vegetables on the side and a juice to wash it all down.
For those who eat meat, halal beef is often on offer at lunch and dinnertime with a similar selection of side dishes.
To relax, prisoners can visit the camp’s in-house library, which contains a host of books, in Arabic and English, Hollywood blockbuster DVDs and magazines.
Guantanamo Bay has long been a subject of controversy in the United States and around the world and the Obama administration made it a policy pledge to shut the prison camp on his first full day in office in January 2009.
Since then, however, he has been blocked by Congress from doing so and the 166 inmates there have been left in legal limbo, despite the president ruling out sending any more terror suspects to Guantanamo.
The Joint Task Force Guantamano is responsible for housing and feeding prisoners who have been captured in the war in Afghanistan and elsewhere since the September 11, attacks in 2001.
The base has hit the headlines recently after defense lawyers for Guantanamo Bay detainees claimed that inmates at the high security facility were starving themselves to death, refusing to sleep in their cells and have been engaged for weeks in widespread protests.
Attorneys for the terror detainees allege that guards at the prison camp on the island of Cuba ‘desecrated’ a Quran, which sparked February’s hunger protest and claim that conditions have deteriorated to the ‘darkest days under Bush’
The alleged troubles come as U.S. military officials confirmed on Thursday that a guard at the U.S. owned facility fired a ‘non-lethal’ plastic bullet round to disperse prisoners, hitting an inmate – after one of them tried to climb a fence and others threw rocks at one guard tower.
The incident happened in Camp 6, the area reserved for cooperative captives where the government just spent $744,000 on renovations that included a soccer field for prisoners.
The military says it was just a ploy to win attention….