Sunday, May 24, 2009

The finest in resort living: Camp Delta

The GOP is sticking to its guns on Guantánamo Bay. The party maintains that the detention facility at the base there, Camp Delta, is better than home for the detainees.

Former congressman Duncan L. Hunter (R-CA) has long been an outspoken proponent of holding alleged terrorists at Guantánamo Bay. As far back as 2005, he was claiming that detainees were actually leading better lives at Camp Delta than they were in their native homes:
The inmates in Guantánamo have never eaten better, they've never been treated better and they've never been more comfortable in their lives. ... And the idea that somehow we are torturing people in Guantánamo is absolutely not true, unless you consider having to eat chicken three times a week is torture.
Granted, most people would agree that eating chicken three times a week is not torture (as long as it's not from KFC). But to assert that Camp Delta detainees "are treated exceptionally well" based on what they're fed is either disingenuous or Hunter demonstrating that he's a simpleton. FBI memos dating as far back as 2002 document widespread use of "highly aggressive" interrogation tactics at Guantánamo Bay that most reasonable Americans would deem torture.

Now that President Barack Obama has ordered the closure of the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay, the GOP is back at it. This time they're trotting out senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) to make a case for the continued operations at Camp Delta. Inhofe asserts:
Anyone, any detainee over 55 has an opportunity to have a colonoscopy. Now none of them take 'em up on it because once they explain what it is none of them want to do it. But nonetheless its an opportunity that they have.
What more could any self-respecting detainee ask for in life? With a menu of "honey glazed chicken" or "lemon baked fish," served with whole-wheat pita, various vegetables, and fruit, along with the fresh smell of ocean air, it's hard to distinguish Camp Delta from a cruise ship. Meanwhile, their captors provide them with copies of the Koran, prayer rugs, beads and oil. They broadcast the call to prayer five times a day and the cells have signs pointing toward Mecca. But the cherry on this sundae of resort life that the detainees look forward to with the greatest anticipation is the colonoscopy they get if they can reach the ripe old age of 55.

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