Photo: National Guard via flickr
What’s the latest sports craze at Guantanamo Bay’s U.S. Navy base? Futobol! That’s right; the U.S. government and U.S. Navy have joined the increasing ranks of soccer fans within the United States.
Yesterday, the U.S military revealed a $744,000 soccer field for the 120 inmates at Camp 6 to a tour of reporters.The field covers an area of 28,000 square-feet, or half the size of an American football field, and it will completed in April.
Instead of turf, inmates received a field of two-toned gravel (Do they want to prevent slide tackling?)
If you ever plan on owning a soccer field, for three-quarters of a million dollars, Burns and Roe Services Corporation can build you a field that looks like a track within in an ordinary prison yard.
The Navy defended the price tag of its amalgamation of gravel, barbed-wired fences, and prison watch towers by stating construction in the remote location sometimes doubles construction costs.
Photo: Miami Herald
After the Obama administration abandoned its goal of closing Guantanamo Bay’s detention centre, the decade-old detention centre has undergone its largest expansion ever over the past year, the addition of the soccer field being its third recreational field. Even with the Department of defence and Pentagon planning on making budget cuts of at least $487 billion over the next decade to alleviate the budget crisis, taxpayers will still pay $800,000 a year per captive and the camp’s 1,850 government employees. That’s $136,800,000 a year for all 171 detainees. The average inmate in the U.S. coasts $28,817 per year.
The expansion of the centre suggests the Obama administration wishes to make it a rehabilitative facility for the U.S.’s enemies since it can’t close it immediately. The handing out of generous prison sentences for detainees probably stems from this renovation of the facility. Osama Bin Laden’s personal cook and driver, for example, will serve less time than American citizens prosecuted in federal courts. If the administration can’t close it directly, it may be hoping to eventually empty out the detention centre. However, giving the prisoners 20-hour daily access to the soccer field may lessen their desire to leave the facility.
Maybe a friendly game of soccer between the prisoners and the military guards can help defuse tensions?
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