Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer
While our nation is saddled with record deficits and debt, countless Americans are homeless or unable to find work, and analysts are predicting economic catastrophe, the prisoners at Camp 6 in Guantanamo Bay are getting a brand new $750,000 soccer field.
The project, which is just now getting finished up after being started in April of 2011, was shown during a tour of the facility to reporters who are covering the arraignment of Majid Khan in military court.
Khan is a former Baltimore resident and reportedly the only legal U.S. resident on trial at Guantanamo Bay. Khan was arrested in Pakistan in 2003 when he returned to visit his wife and is accused of being enlisted by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to support and plan terrorist attacks against the United States and Israel.
The soccer field is one of two other recreation facilities provided to “highly compliant” detainees at Camp 6 and is available for prisoners 20 hours a day.
Fox News reports that the field was specially constructed in order to give detainees “maximum access” to the field, meaning around 20 out of 24 hours.
Passageways have been built in order to allow detainees to travel to the costly new field without even being escorted by military personnel.
A representative of the military police who went unnamed said that giving the prisoners access to high levels of activity outdoors helped to decrease the behavioral problems within the camp itself.
This anonymous representative also said that it cut down on the interaction between the military guards and the detainees.
Like four other cases, Khan is expected to cut a deal with the prosecution. Since Guantanamo Bay opened in 2002, only six cases have been prosecuted.
Khan’s appearance will mark the first time a single person outside of the American military or intelligence community has laid eyes on him.
Since he was captured, Khan has been shuffled around in secret CIA black sites around the globe which Fox claims were “formerly maintained by the CIA.”
The treatment of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay is not nearly as wonderful as Fox News seems to be attempting to make it out to be.
Indeed, the families of dead Guantanamo Bay detainees have challenged the Pentagon’s claims that three individuals committed suicide in 2006.
This story was almost laughable in its absurdity given that medical examinations found that one of the individual had his esophagus ripped out “and his body bore signs of torture, including several injection marks on his hands.”
American soldiers even came forward with eye-witness testimony of the horrific events, yet Fox News seems to be attempting to give readers the impression that the Obama administration is being soft on suspected terrorists.
They write, “Even some of President Obama’s most ardent supporters suggest the administration seems eager to close the camps and reduce the detainee population, and plea agreements with minimal jail time are a sweetheart deal for all involved.”
As evidence, they point to the fact that Osama bin Laden’s personal cook and driver are spending less time in prison than American citizens who were prosecuted in federal courts on less serious charges.
They bring up the case of a Charlottesville, Virginia man named Zachary Chesser who was convicted for allegedly making threats against the creators of the television show “South Park” and for giving support to Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, more commonly referred to as al-Shabaab based out of Somalia.
Chesser was sentenced to 25 years having never so much as fired a shot on any battlefield, while Omar Khadr who allegedly killed an American soldier in Afghanistan is already almost half way through an eight year sentence at Guantanamo.
While this definitely does seem unfair, I reject the attempts to make it look like the detainees at Guantanamo Bay have it easy.
That being said, do I think we should build them a $750,000 soccer field? No, in fact I think it is absolutely ridiculous that they would ever spend such a thing.
Instead, how about we actually investigate these individuals and release those who are innocent? Files published by WikiLeaks last year revealed that there were some clearly innocent individuals being held including an 89-year-old Afghan villager with senile dementia and an innocent 14-year-old.
The simple fact is that we are holding many people without charge or trial, and if they’re lucky enough to get a trial it is a military tribunal which can only be characterized as a kangaroo court.
Obama’s “reform” of the process was criticized by both the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), saying it is “institutionalizing indefinite detention of terrorism suspects who have yet to be formally charged or designated for transfer to another country.”
“The creation of a review process that will take up to a year — designed to be repeated every four years — is a tacit acknowledgment that the Obama administration intends to leave Guantanamo as a scheme for unlawful detention without charge and trial for future presidents to clean up, despite the fact that senior officials acknowledged today that keeping the prison open continues to hinder our national security in the long run,” the CCR said in a statement.
Building these detainees a fancy new soccer field which they can use 20 hours out of the day is going to do nothing for the tarnished image America has abroad due to the horrific human rights record of the government of the United States.
This is just putting more money in the pockets of contractors who enjoy intimate relationships with the government while draining non-existent funds from the American taxpayer.
There is absolutely no benefit that can come from this; in fact, I find it absurd to even entertain the notion that a soccer field will do anything to improve the lives of these unfortunate people who are caught in the grip of the American “War on Terror.”
The unfortunate fact is that we could see Americans put in camps similar to – and likely even worse – than Guantanamo Bay, based on nothing more than suspicion thanks to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA), which comes into effect March 1.
This is evidenced by solicitations put out by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and KBR, a major government contractor.
Not to mention the fact that the U.S. government has actually imprisoned American citizens without charge or trial in the past under the designation of “civilian internee.”
Hopefully our so-called government will stop this insanity and the atrocious insult to the principles upon which America was built that is embodied by Guantanamo Bay and legislation like the NDAA.
However, they seem more happy to spend $750,000 of taxpayer money (which we don’t even have) on a soccer field rather than address the complete loss of justice that has been brought about by the sham that is the “War on Terror.”
Did I miss something? Would you like to tip me off to a story I should cover or perhaps even submit writing of your own? Email me at [email protected]
Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on Orion Talk Radio from 8 pm — 10 pm Pacific, which you can find HERE. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at [email protected]