I’m a little late commenting on the congressional tour of Gitmo but after reading this article I’ve been thinking about it……
Lawmakers wanted to see for themselves.
After getting a classified briefing from base commanders, the House delegation ate lunch with troops - the same meal of chicken with orange sauce, rice and okra that detainees were served. They then toured several of the barbed-wire camps where detainees are housed, viewing small cells, dusty recreation yards and common areas.
From behind one-way mirrors, lawmakers watched interrogators grilling three individual terror suspects. None of the interrogators touched detainees.
In one session, they questioned a man who defense officials said was a Saudi national and admitted al-Qaida member who was picked up in Afghanistan and knew nine of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers. In another, a female interrogator took an unusual approach to wear down a detainee, reading a Harry Potter book aloud for hours. He turned his back and put his hands over his ears.
At a communal camp for those given privileges because of good behavior, bearded detainees in white frocks, flip-flops and skull caps quietly lingered near lawmakers, although from behind fences. Later, the detainees played soccer.
The congressional delegation has returned awfully quiet. I read on Roger L. Simon’s blog that one democrat was upset that he was quoted wrongly by the New York Times. They had to make a correction…..
An article on Tuesday about the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay paraphrased incorrectly from a comment by Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, one of several senators who inspected the military detention facility during a weekend trip. He said he felt good about the work of three American guards he met there. He did not say he was pleased with the overall handling of the detainees.
Roger L. Simon’s comment is a hoot!
I remember traveling to each change of station during my husband’s active duty career and some of the facilities where we stayed temporarily until we could find housing was awful. The “Roach Hotel” in Augsburg, Germany was one of the worst.
We were given a room upstairs above the Officers Club, an old rundown German building.(it had been a part of Hitler’s Third Reich) One room with a bathroom down the hall. My husband, our two year old son and I slept (or tried to sleep) in this room with paper-thin walls. It was noisy all the time, babies crying, people stomping down the hall and I had never had jetlag before. It was terrible. We were there for two weeks. After having to spend a day in the home of my husband’s commander I begged my husband to let us stay in the Roach because the commander and his wife were so strange and we were so uncomfortable.
Dinner was served down in the dining room but there was no breakfast or lunch. That was a real problem because we had a two year old and no car with which to go find food. My husband was picked up for work around six thirty every morning and didn’t return until six in the evening. Being a Tiger Mommy I had to go out into the alien world to find food for my baby.
I ventured out with my son and got on a streetcar (Straßenbahn) and we ended up in downtown Augsburg. I couldn’t speak the language at the time but I had Deutschmarks and bought pretzel like sandwiches and gummies (pronounced “goomies”) and we somehow made it back to the “Roach” safely.
So the moral to this story is that the detainees have clean rooms and good food served to them. We had to deal with much less many times. But of course, we weren’t terrorists.