A Look Inside The Newly Revamped Guantánamo Bay Detention Facility


Photo: JTF Gitmo

Guantánamo Bay is currently going through a rebirth of sorts – instead of being closed down, the terrorist detention facility run by Joint Task Force (JTF) Guantánamo is getting a new look.The announcements of a $40 million communications upgrade – including a underwater fibre optic cable that will stretch to the coast of Florida – and multi-million dollar upgrades to the grounds all but guarantee that the 45-square-mile base will stay open indefinitely.

Gitmo currently houses 168 detainees after Osama bin Laden’s alleged cook was repatriated to Sudan last week. The Supreme Court has refused to hear any new Guantánamo appeals even though 87 prisoners were cleared for release by President Obama’s Guantánamo Review Task Force. (It’s unknown if prisoners are still given heavy anti-psychotic medicine before being interrogated.)

Since Gitmo costs about $140 million a year to operate, we became curious about the kind of amenities that taxpayer dollars provide to the detainees as well as the 6,000 troops and civilians who administer the facility. 

All detainees are given a copy of the Koran and surgical masks so they can keep it off the floor and prevent guards from touching it

Compliant detainees have game options at the medium security facility within Camp Delta

Highly compliant detainees live in a communal setting and have extensive access to recreation

These extra amenities show that it pays to behave

Non-compliant detainees only get the basics

Non-compliant detainee have different clothes, fewer items and less time outside of their cell

Detainees can pray together in the communal area of Camp Six, but are shackled to the floor while taking advantage of TV privileges

There is even a computer class in which detainees can learn typing skills

There are 8,000 books and magazines in English, Pashtu and Arabic from the JTF library that detainees can choose from

The Harry Potter series is said to be one of the most requested titles

Some detainees, like this one in Camp Five, must choose from their cell

The newly renovated JTF library offers service members and civilians more than 25,000 items as well as 18 new computers and recliners

The detainees did benefit from recent upgrades such as this $750,000 soccer field

Before they played in the general recreation yard

It's not all fun and games, as seen in this snapshot of an interrogation

The JTF runs a medical facility for detainees that is equipped with a physical-therapy area, pharmacy, radiology department, central sterilization area and a single-bed operating room

Source: http://www.defence.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=25852

In 2008 the Navy's Surgeon General reported that 6500 dental procedures had been administered to Guantanamo captives since 2002

Interrogations are watched by analysts in this room

Service members have a lot of sports offering, including a command-wide softball tournament held at Cooper Sports Field

There is also a beach volleyball court, flag football field, indoor swimming pool, basketball courts (indoor and outdoor), and a bowling alley

Sometimes there is even a tattoo parlor, like when GTMO Ink came for the month of September 2010

Renovations include new mobile guard towers because Gitmo is a maximum security detention facility, after all

The first detainees arrived on January 11, 2002, three months after we entered Afghanistan...

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