Reinforcements Being Sent to Guantanamo; Prison Staff to Reach 2,000

what's empathy worth?shrieking tree/foter.comThere are already more than 1,800 U.S. personnel at Guantanamo Bay, which currently holds 166 detainees. According to the Miami Herald, the U.S. military is sending at least 125 additional troops with the goal of bringing the number up to 2,000. The hunger strike (currently at 103 strikers and 39 being tube fed) may be the reason. From the Herald:

“When you go to single cell, that takes more people,” said Navy Capt. Robert Durand, the prison spokesman, who reported Wednesday night that 124 reinforcements from the Texas-based 591st Military Police Co. arrive at Guantánamo on Saturday.

That’s one spokesperson. From the Herald again, here’s another:

But Navy Lt. Cmdr. Ron Flanders, a Southcom spokesman, said the Doral headquarters that oversees the prison camps had already planned to add more units of soldiers to the camps with the goal of reaching 2,000 personnel.

Part of the reason, he said, is anticipation that the Guantánamo war court, where six men are facing capital terror tribunals called military commissions, might be “ramping up.” And part of it was to add more replacements for individual sailors who had served in the prison staff.

The Herald also provides some background on why the hunger strike may have started:

In January, the last sailor guards at the communal Camp 6 departed and were replaced by Army MPs. Soon after that, the new Army guards carried out a communal cellblock search that the prisoners’ lawyers say sparked the hunger strike…  

In recent years, a majority of captives lived communally, more like traditional prisoners of war. They ate and watched TV in groups; were allowed to pray together, up to 40 at a time at one point; played soccer; and tended to their own daily needs on their own clocks…

But prison commanders said the communal captives disobeyed their guards, and, in one abuse of the privilege, covered up the surveillance cameras in their communal cellblocks. So in April, troops raided the prison and locked most of the prisoners into individual cells, requiring more work from the guards who deliver food through slots, and shackled up each man to leave his cell for most activities — from showers to outdoor recreation cells and indoor TV rooms where they are confined alone.

How much does it cost to keep the detainees at Guantanamo? The Herald explains:

The disclosure of additional troops came on the day the senior Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee estimated that taxpayers pay $1.6 million per detainee each year.

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., said in a news release that the cost was in contrast to $34,046 for a maximum-security prisoner in the Federal Bureau of Corrections.

In his terror speech last month, President Obama cited the cost of prisoners at Guantanamo at “almost $1 million” each. The president is asking for $450 million for Gitmo operations even as he insists he wants the prison closed. Obviously, he has not done so yet.

Reason on Guantanamo.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Is this one of those surges?

  • Brett L||

    It worked in Iraq.

  • Idle Hands||

    Lol

  • sarcasmic||

    I thought O'Bummer was going to close Gitmo. WTF?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Where did you hear that, Faux News?

  • BakedPenguin||

    He closed it in his heart, and that's what really counts. Unlike Chimpy McBushitlerburton, who wanted to drill for oil there.

  • Rrabbit||

    You must have misheard. He said he wanted to clothe Gitmo (in fashionable orange jumpsuits)

  • Auric Demonocles||

    There are already more than 1,800 U.S. personnel at Guantanamo Bay, which currently holds 166 detainees.

    Why the hell do you need to outnumber prisoners more than 10:1? Shouldn't your walls take care of most of that for your?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, there's the administrative staff, and the not-inconsiderable CIA and NSA presence, then there are the whores.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    God damn it, I stuck an extra 'r' in therer againr. I need a new keybroad.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Right. Your whores.

  • Idle Hands||

    Well considering its run by the feds thats actually pretty efficient. I mean whose going to guard the guards?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Oh, and let's not forget the team of SEAL auditors.

  • ||

    Arp! Arp! Arp! Arp!

  • fried wylie||

    "A room full of seals working on Excel...."

  • ||

    It takes a bunch of guys to strap down a prisoner and force-feed them. Plus, you always need lots of bureaucrat administrators.

  • ||

    Why the hell do you need to outnumber prisoners more than 10:1? Shouldn't your walls take care of most of that for your?

    It's a preexisting naval base that fulfills important functions like refueling ships and pissing off Castro that require some significant fraction or even majority of those 1,800 personnel.

  • Mickey Rat||

    In other words, the headline writer does not care that Gitmo personnel are doing more than running a prison in order to flog something with hyperbole he does not approve of.

  • MiloMinderbinder||

    Not only should we close the place down, we should give the grounds that that base sits on back to Cuba.

  • Sevo||

    Takes a hell of a staff to close it down, don't it?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    If they don't clean it out well enough we won't get the deposit back.

  • Sbobet1st.org||

    Soldiers were sent to Guantanamo; Prison staff to reach 2,000. http://www.sbobet1st.org/2013/05/sbobet-333.html

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement