One of the hot button points of contention this week has been the approval of a $744k expenditure to build approximately 120 of the 171 detainees, in Guantanamo Bay, a recreation complex which centers around a soccer field.  The approving authority of this contentious issue is Rear Admiral David Woods, the man in charge of the detention camp.  The intent to build this facility has drawn criticism from multiple outlets and seems to be a bipartisan point of contention.

First, a few of the facts of the situation, then the point of view.

-The facility is intended for those who have what would be considered a good record and are assigned to the communal part of the detention center.  This is not what would be considered the uber-bad guys in custody.

– The facility will be centered around a soccer field, and include a walking track.

– It will be surrounded by a razor-wire-topped fence and ringed with security cameras.

– Detainees who are currently housed in the unit are offered language and culture classes, take part in communal meals and are not held in isolation.

–  According to ADM Woods, the mission of the camp is to keep these detainees away from the battlefield in a safe and humane way, and providing social opportunities is part of that process.

– The apparent high-cost of building is a direct result of our embargo against the communist regime in Cuba.  Supplies must be brought in by sea, driving the cost up since purchasing off the local economy is against the law.

Now for some point of view on the subject.

Camp 6, as the communal prison area is known, may only contain those who have demonstrated compliance with the rules of the camp and demonstrated the ability to maintain an acceptable level of human characteristics, but make no mistake, none of them are there by accident.  Early on there were folks who were sent to Camp Alpha, the overall detention center, who probably did not cut the mustard as a master of terrorist activities.  The processes have been improved since the early days with most people being kept in the country they are captured in, and, terrorists being separated from mere criminals.  It would have to be a stack of proof that was irrefutable that sends someone there at this point.  Sorry for all the folks who got sent there as a result of some ancient familial blood-feud; improve your society and quit the archaic practice of exacting revenge and perpetuating hate along tribal lines.  In summation, kudos for following the rules and not putting our guards and workers lives at risk, but you are a criminal even if you have not made it to your tribunal yet.

Addressing the next three bullet comments together, $744k would be better spent in an American inner-city.  Provide some less than fortunate children with the ability to play sports on a field that does not have cracked pavement, or ill-kept fields.  Install a level of security commensurate with that which currently keeps the bad guys under lock and key – to keep the drug dealers and gangs out of the playgrounds.  Put a small portion of that money aside for kids to learn to speak proper English or another language, thereby expanding their ability to understand other cultures and help diminish the negative perception of Americans throughout the under-developed portions of the world.  Nice to know these asshats are getting three hots and a cot, prepared within the requirements of their religions by the way (a Hilal meal), while we have kids in this country who are not getting the basic nutritional requirements they need on a daily basis, some of whom also wonder each night where they may be laying their heads as their parents move from shelter to shelter.

I am not one to mince words on punishment fitting the crime.  Our all too imperfect legal justice system gets a good bit wrong for everything it does right.  having been around the world, it is a pretty fair and just system.  As overcrowded as our jails may be, they do not compare to prisons in other countries (may be a topic for discussion later).  I understand the need to maintain humane conditions for these detainees, it is hard to be the arbiter of humane treatment without providing a standard to judge by.  At the same time there will always be those who take issue with the conditions and treatment regardless of what it is.  Personally, I say F them and F the detainees.  Feed em, water em, provide basic shelter, and the bare minimum required for their religious beliefs.  They are not Americans, so no rights according to our Constitution, they are not enemy soldiers, so no treatment as an enemy combatant (P.O.W status).  These are assholes who want to do us and our way of life harm; they should be treated as such.

As for the total cost of the project and it being so high because of the inability to purchase the needed supplies locally, the cost should have been the single factor to not allow this to be built.  There is no way these turds should get something that our own children cannot have access to.  I have been deployed 15 times to help capture or kill these clowns and have been all over the countries they have been picked up in.  I have seen soccer fields and volley ball courts that you would never recognize as such if there were not for a net across the middle or a couple of make-shift nets at the end.  Kid and adults alike play both of those games throughout the middle east, they are rather passionate about it.  I can understand in-country, as we attempt to warm the locals to us, that we aid in building sports and recreation facilities.   There is no harm in improving the quality of life, not only to help us out but to just spread the goodness about.  You are no less a warrior by allowing good deeds to fight part of the battle for you.

I have a bit of a bias when it comes to these asshats; I have had friends killed by people who are housed there.  I have treated detainees humanely, been there on the battlefield as we caught them.  I have seen mosques that were used as torture houses, it is pretty evident what they are when you come upon them by the way.  I have still treated the people we took away from those sites humanely, despite the disgust of knowing what had gone on there.  If they did not do us the courtesy of allowing themselves to die and instead wish to become a prisoner, then it is incumbent upon us as soldiers (used universally for any service member) and as the voice of fair and just treatment to do so.  America does its best to maintain a properly pointing moral compass, occasionally we fall short and at other times we set the standard for other to follow. Unfortunately, our enemies are masters at capitalizing on our less than stellar moments, they live by the old axiom ‘you are always remembered for your last fuck-up’ and we have provided a few doozies, especially when it comes to detainees and prisoners.

This is just my opinion on the subject.


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