Gitmo, a name of shame on the human rights record of the US, is back with demands for big improvements and a bigger budget, thanks to the Trump administration.
Those in charge of the Guantanamo Bay US Navy detention facility, AKA ‘Gitmo’ — the notorious US prison on Cuban soil that still famously houses those accused by America of terrorism — are seeking hundreds of millions of dollars for structural and logistical upgrades as the administration of US President Donald Trump proposes repopulating the deadly jail with Daesh members for another quarter of a century, according to reports.
After pledging to close the detention facility in 2008, US President Barack Obama found his administration stonewalled, resorting only to noting the well-documented mistreatment of prisoners, many of whom were held without trial or without even being charged for any crime.
Candidate Trump in 2016 promised to reverse the policy of closing Gitmo, offering instead a plan to improve and expand the notorious prison, according to Stripes.com.
Currently Gitmo is planned to remain open indefinitely, while the Trump administration — promising to pull US troops out of the Syrian civil war by April — considers incarcerating in Cuba those members of Daesh currently held in Syria by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, as noted in an earlier Sputnik News report.
The facilities at Gitmo, however, are falling apart. With an influx of new detainees expected, a lot more guards and staff — who need housing and other facilities — will be required to watch them. Gitmo officials have put the word out: they need a lot of US-taxpayer money to keep the brutal prison in functioning order.
“I’m trying to take care of my troopers, and I’m going to need some money to do that,” observed Navy Rear Admiral John Ring, Guantanamo’s top commander, cited by Stripes.com.
“When you go from [getting ready to shut down] to opening for 25 years, there’s a little bit of investment that’s required,” Ring noted.
While some $35 million has been earmarked by the US Congress for the prison in recent years — including a new seaside dining hall, additional medical facilities and a building to house a US War Tribunal court — much more is necessary to simply keep the jail habitable.
One structure, set to house an estimated 848 guards and other staff, has seen its $115 million appropriation go unawarded even as Admiral Ring has stated that a second similar building will now have to be built.
“Walls would be way better than tarps,” declared an unnamed sargeant, according to Stars and Stripes.
“It’s those little things,” the US serviceman noted, adding, “I’m sure it would be quieter.”
Although an additional $375 million has been earmarked recently by Capitol Hill for the Guantanamo Bay US naval base, none will go toward rebuilding Gitmo itself.
Admiral Ring noted that the safety of US guards working at Gitmo — particularly at ultra-secret maximum-security Camp 7 housing the CIA’s alleged remaining 9/11 masterminds — is of the greatest importance, as foundation cracks, sinking buildings and untreated wastewater threaten the health of those working and living in a facility never intended to be used for more than just a few years.
“Camp 7 tells its own story […] I mean, it’s getting pretty serious,” the admiral said, cited by Stripes.com.