Saturday, September 16, 2006

Pentagon Issues Gitmo `Top Ten Fun Facts List' (seriously)

Front paged at Booman Tribune and ePluribus Media

Well, they stop short of actually calling it that, but they might as well with the absolute nonsense that is on the "Ten Facts About Guantanamo" list that was issued earlier in the week (word document at the top of the web site).

Is it me, or have things now just flown past obscene and vile and disgusting and shameful and disgraceful to bizarre and pathetic? Because when you see the items on this list, including (get this) high top sneakers, denim jean jackets, blue jeans and ping pong.

I swear, I kid you not.

Now, I must give a hat tip to the good folks at ThinkProgress for pointing out the lunacy. But in reality, I just don't know how to react to this, so I think that snark is the best answer here - not to minimize the fact that Gitmo is a symbol of the torture and complete disrespect for the Constitution, or that there are numerous detainees who have committed suicide while there, or have been released with no charges brought - but I just can't believe that this is something that anyone actually took the time to write, and then have approved for release by higher-ups at the Pentagon.

I'll provide the points on this list, just because I wouldn't have believed it unless I read them for myself, and you will see just how stupid, pathetic and just flat out wrong (no surprise there) these items are:

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."

OK, take a moment to stop laughing, crying, shouting or screaming at the computer screen.

Now, correct me if I am wrong, but if these are "the worst of the worst Islamofascists" who only focus on bringing death and destruction to `Murka - and they are this way because they "hate our freedoms", then please answer these questions:

Why would they be interested in high top sneakers, blue jeans, denim jackets and other "symbols of `Murka"? Shouldn't we just give them an American flag lapel pin while we are at it?

There are approximately 460 detainees at Guantanamo. Are 35 teeth cleanings in nearly four years something to be bragging about? Are less than 100 fillings something anyone should be impressed with?

Was any of this dental work done after the prisoners were tortured and their teeth were knocked out? Were any of those pairs of glasses issued to people whose faces were kicked in?

Isn't the World Cup on once every four years? Isn't that like saying that the Olympics are broadcast? And wouldn't anyone that is only interested in killing `Murkins not interested in this?

About that transparency - didn't the military block the media's access entirely? And while the media did have access, didn't the following occur:

Journalists could not talk to detainees, they had to be accompanied by a military escort and their photos were censored.

What about that 4,200 calorie diet? Not to mention the fact that that is more than twice what is a normal diet, didn't we hear about hunger strikes? What about the following little nugget (and I don't mean chicken Mcnugget either):

There also has been a hunger strike since August. The number of inmates refusing food dropped to 18 by last weekend from a high of 131. The military has at times used force-feeding methods, including a restraint chair.

I guess when you force feed people, they gain weight.

What about those Red Cross visits? Well, it is nice to say that they visit often, but what does the Red Cross actually say about the "facilities"?

Christophe Girod - the senior Red Cross official in Washington - said it was unacceptable that the 600 detainees should be held indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay without legal safeguards.


Mr Girod said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was making the unusually blunt public statement because of a lack of action after previous private contacts with American officials.

"One cannot keep these detainees in this pattern, this situation, indefinitely," he said during a visit to the US naval base where the Taliban and al-Qaeda suspects are being held.

As for the last point, why would any "fun fact" sheet want to point out that Amnesty International called Guantanamo a gulag? Doesn't that seem like something that the Pentagon would want to gloss over?

Just like all of the other facts about Guantanamo, torture, rendition, secret CIA prison camps and well, pretty much everything else that these liars and war criminals have done over the past six years.

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