U.S. Spending $10 Million on New Gitmo Courtrooms

Far from getting ready to close Guantanamo, the U.S. is spending big bucks there to build new courtrooms.

The U.S. military is building a mobile courtroom complex on an unused runway at the Guantanamo Bay naval base and plans to be ready by March to conduct as many as three terrorism trials at a time.

The $10 million project will add two new courtrooms to the existing one, which is being fitted with a new computer projection system to display evidence for the war crimes tribunals set up to try suspected al Qaeda operatives held at the U.S. naval base in eastern Cuba.

The Pentagon now plans to try 80 of the prisoners on war crimes and to hold up to 3 trials at a time. Called a "mobile courtroom complex" the new project appears to be made of tents:


Rows of khaki tents have sprung up on the old runway in front of the current court building and are being transformed into the temporary court complex ready to accommodate three simultaneous trials as soon as the appeals are resolved.

As Guantanamo detainee Abdulaziz who was tortured in an Afghan prison before ending up at Guantanamo might say,

"O prison darkness, pitch your tent./ We love the darkness."

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  • Display: Sort:
    50k tents, $500 flashlights ... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by seabos84 on Wed Sep 05, 2007 at 11:40:06 PM EST
    I'm sure that there is probably about ... 20 grand worth of material ??

    ha ha.

    the rest of the dough is going into inflated charges for junk, with some big fat ... consultant fees for someone's friend?

    I'd prefer how they do it in Russia or Nigeria or Brazil or ...

    just hand someone a duffle bag with 9.5 million in it, then go buy some tents and pay a couple of lackeys. it is a lot more efficient.


    Book plug: Ordinary Heroes by Scott Turow (none / 0) (#2)
    by jerry on Wed Sep 05, 2007 at 11:48:27 PM EST
    Vaguely related to the above, Ordinary Heroes by Scott Turow is a book about a WWII assistant judge advocate.  Because of some vague similarities between the protagonists's father and mine, I felt the book was not just terrific but enlightening.  Your mileage may vary, but it does describe in some ways what military trials were like during WWII.

    I actually listened to the unabridged audiobook narrated by Edward Herrmann, he did a good job of conveying the different characters, male and female. including the various accents.

    Fiction or non fiction? (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 12:02:11 AM EST
    It's fiction (none / 0) (#4)
    by jerry on Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 12:23:29 AM EST
    It's terrifically done and told me a bit about WWII that I should have known, but in a way that these days contrasts with Iraq in terms of how "swift" the four years of WWII were and how much was accomplished compared with the qWagmire.

    Definitely fiction though based on actual battles.  Stories like this take on a whole different manner of reading these days, thanks to Google Earth.


    Thanks. Time to hit the library (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 01:28:30 AM EST
    reserve list again.

    After I finish a history of Burma written by U Thant's grandson, I'm reading Armistead Maughpin's Michael Tolliver Lives.  


    Up Country, by Nelson DeMille is amazingly great (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jerry on Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 12:39:24 PM EST
    I arrived on the scene in the early sixties and Vietnam was over by the time I was 14.  My knowledge of Vietnam were from Stanley Karnow's books, discussing My Lai in school, and Apocalypse Now and similar fare.

    Nelson DeMille's Up Country is a fantastic novel.  Is it a historical treatment of the Vietnam War since the French days of Diem Bien Phu?  Is it a modern travelogue from south to north as the country opens up?  Is it a deep historical study of the siege of Hue and several other famous battles?  Is it a murder mystery or a spy novel?

    It's actually all of that.  The basic story takes place in 1997 as an infantry man, now cop, is asked to return for his third tour of duty in Vietnam, but this time as a complete secret, in order to find out who murdered a soldier during the siege at Hue.

    The murder was discovered in a letter found on a dead Vietnamese body picked up off the battlefield 25 years earlier.  The letter had been translated as part of a program to return such artifacts to the families, but this letter contained an eye witness account of one US soldier murdering another.

    For "some" reason the military is interested in this years later.  Ostensibly because there is no statue of limitations on murder.

    He is sent to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) as a "businessman" and finds out that he needs to travel to North Vietnam to find the eye witness who may still live up there.

    And so, with various guides and aides he makes his way and along the way retells his story and these battles to the American translator that accompanies him.

    Again, I listened to the audio (I had a lot of time a few years back traveling from where I lived and my job was to where my ex had moved the kids to) and the unabridged audiobook narrated by Scott Brick is fantastic.  (Better than Ordinary Heroes).  That and Google Earth really put the Vietnam war for me into an entirely new context, in which I better understood the timeline and the various battles and events that the movies had been portraying.


    I'll get that audio also. Went to Vietnam in (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 01:41:30 PM EST
    Jan. 06 so I'm reading alot about SE Asia, including Someret Maugham's The Gentelman in the Parlous (non fiction, 1930), Cat From Hue, by a CBS TV journalist abou his experiences in Vietnam during the U.S. war, and, of course, The Quiet American, by Graham Greene.  Also, House on Dream Street, by a woman who lived in Hanoi immed. after Vietnam opened up.  

    U.S. Spending $10 Million on New Gitmo Courtrooms (none / 0) (#8)
    by DennyT on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 06:19:39 AM EST
    very nice blog, i'll digg you up. thanks for information.