Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

News & Politics News & Politics

Gitmo good life: U.S. spends millions on landscaping, art classes for terror detainees

Posted by on Nov. 19, 2013 at 10:25 AM
Eds
  • 45 Replies

Gitmo good life: U.S. spends millions on landscaping, art classes for terror detainees

<a href="http://us-ads.openx.net/w/1.0/rc?cs=5283af09c9452&cb=1895285154" ><img src="http://us-ads.openx.net/w/1.0/ai?auid=444989&cs=5283af09c9452&cb=1895285154" border="0" alt=""></a>

Thanks to a multimillion-dollar federal contract, Guantanamo Bay prisoners can enroll in seminars to learn all about basic landscaping and pruning, calligraphy and Microsoft PowerPoint while the U.S. figures out what to do with them.

Prisoners also can get in touch with their artistic sides.

“At a minimum, the art seminar shall include water color painting, charcoal sketching, Arabic calligraphy, acrylic painting and pastel painting,” contract records reviewed by The Washington Times state.

The documents surfaced last week in a U.S. Court of Federal Claims lawsuit stemming from a dispute over a more than $5 million contract to provide library and seminar services to detainees at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The papers offer a glimpse at just how military detainees can pass the time while officials decide their fates.

President Obama is pushing once again to make good on his promise to shut down the prison, hoping to make it easier to transfer detainees out of the facility as part of the upcoming debate on the annual defense policy bill.

He will face strong opposition from congressional Republicans who argue that the Guantanamo Bay detention facility remains the best place to hold suspected terrorists.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said Monday that Democrats support Mr. Obama’s request for more transfer authority but that the Republicans’ position will get a vote.

“We should have a debate on that and have a vote on that,” he said.

As the fight plays out in Washington, detainees at Guantanamo can enroll in seminars lasting an hour to 90 minutes once or more every day. Class ratios are low, with no more than 20 prisoners allowed in a class.

In horticulture, detainees learn the “principles of horticulture 1& 2, basic landscape plants and landscape pruning practices,” records show.

A “life skills” seminar teaches prisoners, among other things, about computers and typing, including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint at basic, intermediate and advanced levels.

A nutrition class instructs prisoners about the “principles of nutrition and scientific foundations of exercise and fitness,” records show.

Detainees, who also can learn English, appear to get something akin to report cards, too, though it’s unclear whether they see their grades.

The contractor must provide to the government a quarterly student evaluation report for each detainee enrolled in a seminar.

Story Continues →


Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/nov/18/good-life-at-gitmo-us-spends-millions-on-life-skil/#ixzz2l6bKfgtV
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

by on Nov. 19, 2013 at 10:25 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
Clairwil
by Gold Member on Nov. 19, 2013 at 11:09 PM
Quoting Ednarooni160:

Gitmo good life
Bookworms: Guantanamo detainees are given reading material as they learn about horticulture, nutrition, various art techniques and other skills as part of a $5 million U.S. program. (Associated Press)

                           ^
                          /|\
                         / | \
                           |
                           |
                           |
                           |

The "good life"?

Shackled in leg irons?

-Celestial-
by Platinum Member on Nov. 19, 2013 at 11:15 PM
1 mom liked this

Maybe we should give them targets to practice shooting, or materials to make homemade bombs. Maybe give them a child bride.

Ednarooni160
by Eds on Nov. 20, 2013 at 12:33 AM



Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting Ednarooni160:

Gitmo good life
Bookworms: Guantanamo detainees are given reading material as they learn about horticulture, nutrition, various art techniques and other skills as part of a $5 million U.S. program. (Associated Press)

                           ^
                          /|\
                         / | \
                           |
                           |
                           |
                           |

The "good life"?

Shackled in leg irons?

Tax dollars by way of  U.S. citizens  probably wouldn't interest you..me "yea"..


Clairwil
by Gold Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 5:26 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Ednarooni160:

Tax dollars by way of  U.S. citizens  probably wouldn't interest you..me "yea"..

As far as I can work out, the two main reasons why the Republicans are blocking President Obama from moving the prisoners from gitmo to normal mainland prisons are:

1. Obama wants to close them, and promised the electorate that he'd try.   Anything he wants, the Republicans don't want, in order to make him look bad and like a failure, no matter if it is good for America or not.

2. The only advantage of gitmo is that it strips the prisoners of their human rights, and prevents the story getting out of what was really done to them during the Bush years.    Neither of those are admirable objectives, and keeping it open is still costing American lives due to bad publicity generating enemies who shoot at American soldiers.

UpSheRises
by on Nov. 20, 2013 at 6:10 AM

We could always just move them here. It would be cheaper and we already have prison filled to the brim with dangerous people. We have more people in prison than China and Russia combined.

Carpy
by Platinum Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 7:28 AM

I think we call that "let them eat cake".

Carpy
by Platinum Member on Nov. 20, 2013 at 7:29 AM
2 moms liked this

There are plenty of democrats that blocked it as well.

Quoting Clairwil:


Quoting Ednarooni160:

Tax dollars by way of  U.S. citizens  probably wouldn't interest you..me "yea"..

As far as I can work out, the two main reasons why the Republicans are blocking President Obama from moving the prisoners from gitmo to normal mainland prisons are:

1. Obama wants to close them, and promised the electorate that he'd try.   Anything he wants, the Republicans don't want, in order to make him look bad and like a failure, no matter if it is good for America or not.

2. The only advantage of gitmo is that it strips the prisoners of their human rights, and prevents the story getting out of what was really done to them during the Bush years.    Neither of those are admirable objectives, and keeping it open is still costing American lives due to bad publicity generating enemies who shoot at American soldiers.


JanuaryBaby06
by on Nov. 20, 2013 at 7:35 AM
1 mom liked this

My issue with Gitmo lies with the alledged torture that has went on/ may possibly still go on at Gitmo. The inmates can't attempt to fight it either because it's marked classified. It's awful. That place should be shut down.

JanuaryBaby06
by on Nov. 20, 2013 at 7:47 AM

 

This week, the Senate takes up a White House-backed defense authorization bill that would reduce the restrictions on repatriating Yemeni nationals held in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. These changes are long overdue. Many of these detainees are eligible for transfer, which would be a significant step in closing Gitmo.

However, to minimize the significant risk of them joining Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, and engaging in terrorism, the U.S. should first establish a rehabilitation center for them in Yemen, based on a Saudi Arabia model, with a rigorous post-release monitoring program. Other alternatives, including continued indefinite detention, repatriation without a rehabilitation program or resettlement in third countries, carry higher diplomatic and security risks.

Hundreds of Gitmo detainees have been transferred or released since 2002, but it has not been without cost. More than 25% were later confirmed or suspected of engaging in terrorist activities. There are 164 detainees at Gitmo, including 30 Yemenis in conditional detention. These individuals are not facing prosecution, but they cannot be transferred until the security situation in Yemen improves, or third-country resettlement options are found, or an appropriate rehabilitation program becomes available. These detainees are not, as some politicians describe them, "the worst of the worst." They are not high-value detainees, nor is there a basis to hold them as enemy combatants.

Any former Gitmo detainee who later engages in terrorist activity poses a significant risk to the United States. This risk is particularly acute in Yemen, the home of AQAP, Al Qaeda's most active affiliate. While using former detainees as terrorist operatives is possible, AQAP would most likely exploit their "rock star" status for propaganda purposes to further the Al Qaeda narrative.

The best option is to establish a Yemeni rehabilitation program modeled on the Prince Muhammad bin Nayif Center for Counseling and Care, which was established to rehabilitate extremists paroled from Saudi prisons. Since 2006, more than 3,000 parolees have been processed through the center, including 120 former Gitmo detainees. The center acts like a traditional halfway house and combines de-radicalization (changing of thinking) and demobilization (consciously choosing to abandon violence as a means to political ends) by reintegrating detainees into their families, the economy and society.

It also applies significant legal, social and security pressure to discourage reengagement, such as encouraging beneficiaries to publicly renounce Al Qaeda. Post-release, Saudi security services monitor the parolees while the center provides financial support, counseling and other help. Those who fail to meet the terms of their parole are returned to the center or incarcerated.

While it is impossible to determine if the participants in this program become truly de-radicalized or simply demobilized, Saudi Arabia claims a recidivism-to-terrorism rate of 2% to 3%. This compares favorably with a 70% recidivism rate there for drug offenders and 45% for general crimes.

The Saudis concede that the former Gitmo detainees have had a higher recidivism rate than the non-Gitmo beneficiaries. Still, a combination of deradicalization, demobilization and post-release monitoring remains the most promising option to reduce this recidivism risk.

If President Obama's stated foreign policy goal of closing Gitmo is to be achieved, detainees in conditional detention will have to be repatriated or otherwise transferred. Just transferring these 30 Yemenis would not solve the Gitmo issue, but it would be a significant step toward closing the facility and countering a key element of Al Qaeda's narrative. Establishing a rehabilitation center in Yemen and funding a rigorous post-release monitoring program are the best options for reducing the recidivism rate. The Saudi program costs $26 million for a three-year period. In comparison, the fly-away cost for one Reaper drone is about $16 million.

Following through on these actions would not eliminate all risks, but it is the option with the least political and security risks.

Charles E. Berger, an assistant special-agent-in-charge at the FBI, is on sabbatical at the Council on Foreign Relations as the national intelligence fellow. These views are his own.

vic270
by Vic on Nov. 20, 2013 at 8:10 AM
2 moms liked this

 would you want them in your backyard?  i sure don't. they are just where they need to be with way way to many privilages. they should get 3 meals and a cot period. might be good for them to get out and walk a little every day but that is all, and they dont deserve that.


Quoting Clairwil:

 

Quoting Ednarooni160:

Tax dollars by way of  U.S. citizens  probably wouldn't interest you..me "yea"..

As far as I can work out, the two main reasons why the Republicans are blocking President Obama from moving the prisoners from gitmo to normal mainland prisons are:

1. Obama wants to close them, and promised the electorate that he'd try.   Anything he wants, the Republicans don't want, in order to make him look bad and like a failure, no matter if it is good for America or not.

2. The only advantage of gitmo is that it strips the prisoners of their human rights, and prevents the story getting out of what was really done to them during the Bush years.    Neither of those are admirable objectives, and keeping it open is still costing American lives due to bad publicity generating enemies who shoot at American soldiers.


 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)