Peter King, a Republican congressman who visited earlier this year and wants the prison kept open, said that "if there's any scandal at Guantánamo, it is that the detainees are treated too well".
The 221 remaining inmates receive between four and 20 hours outdoor recreation in the Caribbean sun and anything from weekly to almost unlimited access to DVDs and receive three newspapers (USA Today, plus one Egyptian and one Saudi Arabian title) twice a week. Every bed has an arrow pointing towards Mecca and every cell a prayer rug.
Adm Copeman said "generally speaking the rules are about the same" for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-confessed mastermind of the September 11 attacks, and the 15 other "high value detainees", who are held at Camp 7, which is out of bounds to the media.
The detainees' diet is exclusively Middle Eastern and halal, in observance of regional and religious sensitivities. Dates, olive oil and honey are provided daily and pita bread is baked on the premises. They drink the same bottled water as the prison's staff and have the same access as other prisoners to 16,000 books and 1,600 magazines held at the library.
An escorted tour of Guantánamo by the Daily Telegraph revealed that Camp 7's requested reading included Gardens of the World by Mick Hales, Fine Art Flower Photography by Tony Sweet and a copy of Birds and Blooms magazine, material in keeping with nature-bound leisure pursuits approved by conservative Islam. Two volumes of the Tales of the Arabian Nights were also in the pile. Tomes on Islamic theory are in plentiful supply and demand, said library staff.
At the low security Camp 4, detainees could be seen sitting in the yard chatting and hanging up their laundry. A new gravel football field was recently completed.
At Florence, Colorado, prisoners would also spend 22 ½ hours a day in a 9ft by 9ft cell with the only natural light coming from a skylight outside.
Exercise would be limited to an hour and a half indoors five days a week and they would have minimal contact with others, including the 33 other international terrorists held there. An official study found that most inmates suffer psychological trauma from the severe isolation.And don't forget, they get the H1N1 vaccine before most of you do.
Someone explain again why we need to close Gitmo? If the issue is simply that that they're being held without trial, why does it matter where they are held? Gitmo seems as good a place, humane even, as any and avoids the major expense of relocation, refurbishing, and retrofitting another prison to hold such detainees as these who are known to attack guards with the least likeliest of weapons and throw feces/body fluid cocktails at will.
No, given a choice, the Gitmo Gulag is the prison of choice. The Telegraph quotes an Arab American cultural adviser employed at Guantanamo as saying, "They know there will not be the same privileges as here," he said. "Given the choice of being sentenced forever in Guantánamo or moved to supermax, it is 'no, can I stay in Gitmo?'. Here they can be outside, they can smell the sea."
Yet still, Obama declares the place must be shut down because it has bad associations for the rest of the world and they might not like us. We wouldn't want that. Eric Holder perseveres in his quest to bring those that he can to the U.S. for trial, a whole can of worms all its own, by the way, and his dilemma with what to do with those who can't be tried. Do we simply release them or ship them off to another country and and disappointed when they release them?
I, for one, don't have any problem with terrorists sitting 24/7 in a 9 ft. cell eating the same meals as the rest of the prison population. I just don't want it to be stateside.