Guantanamo By The Dollar: Wasteful Spending
The U.S. has spent $500 million upgrading Guantanamo since 2001, according to the first published report on the prison's spending.
Here's some of where the money went:
- $188,000 for a marquee sign that says "Welcome Aboard"
- $249,000 for an abandoned volleyball court
- $296,000 for an unused go-cart track
- $3.5 million for 27 playgrounds, mostly unused
- $683,000 to renovate a cafe that sells ice cream and Starbucks coffee
- $773,000 to remodel a cinder-block building to house a KFC/Taco Bell restaurant.
The point of these expenditures: "[T]o comfort the military personnel and contractors who run detainee operations." Despite the decline in number of detainees (now at 181), the spending continues:
Next up is an expansion of one of the most popular spots on the base: O'Kelly's, an Irish pub. [More...]
How much personnel is required for 181 detainees? According to the Pentagon's website for the Joint Task Force Guantanamo:
Approximately 7,000 active duty service members, retirees, family members, DoD civilians and contractors make up the community of U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The oldest U.S. naval station on foreign soil, the base is home to several tenant commands – the largest of which is Joint Task Force Guantanamo.
Check out their publication, The Wire. For Memorial Day, they flew in a band to play (p.16) and had a grand time at an event headlined "Liberty Barracks Bash, Summer Fun" (p.18.)
Also check out the Navy's Guantanamo Bay Gazette Magazine, especially the classfied ad section on page 7, filled with boats, big screen tv's, even Louis Vuitton bags for sale.
Or this list of activities on page 8.
- 5 June Free Paintball 1400 Paintball Range
- 10 June Night Fishing 1900 Marina
- 11 June World Cup Begins TBD All Centers
- 12 June Snorkeling Hicacal Beach 0800 Marina
- 12 June Sunset Kayak to Hospital Pt 1700 Marina
- 15 June Ping Pong Tournament 1900 Camp America Center
- 17 June 8 Ball Tournament 1900 Marine Hill Liberty Ctr.
- 19 June Day Fishing Trip 0600 Marina
- 24 June Spades Tournament 1900 Marine Hill Liberty Ctr.
- 26 June Kayak to the Caves 0800 Marina
- 29 June Ping Pong Tournament 1900 Deer Point Liberty Ctr.
Just more reason to shutter Guantanamo for good as soon as possible.
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