Gitmo detainees are just sitting around in their cells, unfairly deprived and mentally withering, right? That, at least, is what the liberal U.S. media would have us believe. Odd they left out the introduction of vegetable gardening and “film nights”.
The steps, though limited, mark a change of tack for the American military after months of seeking to toughen discipline at the facility after unrest in one of its sections – Camp 4 – erupted last year with a brief riot and the suicides of three inmates.
It is in Camp 4, which is reserved for the most compliant of the prisoners, that the first changes are being brought in. Its roughly 45 detainees – out of a total of 375 still at Guantanamo – have already been allowed to tend a vegetable garden and watch television shows selected by officers. Among them is a documentary show about deep sea fishing off Alaska called The Deadliest Catch. The idea is to provide the inmates, most of whom are accused of ties with al-Qa’ida or the Taliban, with “increased mental stimulation,” Navy Rear Admiral Mark Buzby said this week. Another innovation is the expansion of language classes, both Arabic and English, for detainees who must nonetheless sit in classrooms with one ankle chained to the floor.
Now we just need to introduce “Weenie Roast” night — with all-pork hot dogs, of course — and teach them all to sing Kum By Yah. That’ll teach them not to mess with us.