U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Those words almost have to crawl their way out of your mouth, don’t they? Anything you’ve likely heard about the detention camp is horrific in nature. It’s definitely not a place where a terrorist goes to vacation. Even after an executive order from President Barack Obama in 2009 to close its doors, the facility continues to operate. This leaves us all to wonder who’s really driving the bus around here? The litany of what many people would call egregious human rights violations is mind boggling. Today it’s still home to over 50 prisoners that our government deems are a threat to our sovereign nation. Guantanamo Bay has largely been cloaked from public view since its inception as a U.S. military base. On lease from the new Republic of Cuba since the early 1900s, there’s little that’s been said publicly about the prison. However, what we’ve heard, or haven’t heard for that matter, is terrifying and usually winds up making us, as humans, look like we talk out of both sides of our mouth.
It’s undeniable that we need somewhere to put assumed terrorists. These people and the networks to which they belong need to be found. Not just for our safety as individuals, but the world as a collective whole. Guantanamo Bay will continue to have a dark cloud hanging over it as long as it continues to operate the way it does. Practicing advanced types of interrogation, inhumane, and sometimes terrible. Hardcore things that have undoubtedly saved millions of lives all around the world.
15. They Don’t Allow Peaceful Protests
Losing your appetite yet? Imagine being so pissed off that you decided to quit eating all together. That’s what some of the inmates at Guantanamo Bay have decided to do over the past fourteen years. Inmates have been known to protest the violation of their human rights by refusing to eat food in a futile attempt at suicide. That doesn’t go over too well with our government, as you can certainly imagine. So the U.S. found a way to overcome their detainees’ fasting choices. Unwilling to let the terrorists starve themselves, and clearly completely indifferent to their cause, prison employees stick a feeding tube into those that decide they won’t play nice. Guards force feed them their breakfast, lunch, and dinner by any means necessary.
14. Most Inmates Are Muslim
Afghani, Saudi Arabian, and Yemen prisoners have totaled more than 50% of the combined population of Guantanamo Bay throughout its existence. Since 2010, any person who becomes incarcerated at the Naval base has been issued a Quran and holy mat. Arrows within the prison point in the direction of Mecca, allowing inmates the right to pray up to five times a day. Following a recent transfer of several Saudi inmates, the 50 plus remaining prisoners consist of men that are mostly from the country of Yemen. Profiling, as we all know, is a taboo subject. Have you been to an airport lately? Just about everyone is getting probed! The topic ruffles feathers all over the planet, no matter where you’re from and rightfully so.
13. They Detain Minors
It’s no secret that minors have always received some sort of leniency when accused of crimes within the international community. So when Guantanamo Bay became the home of a young boy named Omar Khadr, originally a citizen of Canada, the world took notice. Beneath the watchful eyes of the international populous, the U.S. government detained Khadr even though he was just a minor. Khadr was deemed a prisoner of war; he was captured when the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2002. Khadr, at the time, was shown no special treatment after being injured in a gunfight with United States soldiers. After being detained, the U.S. military shipped him to Guantanamo Bay where he would remain for the next 10 years.
12. Even Obama Couldn’t Shut It Down
It doesn’t take a genius to know that the different parties of our government act like they couldn’t care less about seeing eye to eye on any issue. The same applies when the discussion of what should be done with Guantanamo Bay arises. Animosity within our democracy has been apparent for as long as anyone can remember. Although, it seems worse today than it’s ever been before. Who’s actually in control of the government? Is it Wall St., special interest groups, the rich, or our military? There’s one thing you can be sure of. It’s not our current president. Obama’s attempt at an executive order to close the prison failed. If the commander and chief can’t stop the atrocities that occur in this place, then who can?
11. The Government Spends $1-5 Million Per Prisoner
The United States of America has a higher defense budget than any other country in the world. That’s by a long shot too. The U.S. spends over 50% of our budget on our military defense systems— over 590 billion dollars to be a little more precise. An inmate at Guantanamo Bay costs the United States anywhere from $1-5 million a year depending on which source you decide to trust. Naturally, President Obama claims it’s closer to 1 million, while the ACLU feels confident it’s closer to the 5 million dollar mark. A lot of dark secrets can be found hiding amongst millions and millions of dollars. Especially when you’re spending that amount on just one inmate.
10. Prisoners Are Tortured With Hours Of Terrible Music
Prisoners at Guantanamo are said to have had the likes of Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ and Drowning Pool’s ‘Bodies’ blared relentlessly into their ears for extended periods of time. Imagine if those bands would learn that their music was getting used in a twisted way for sound torture at the prison camp. Used for interrogation purposes, the abuse of sound can be a very effective way to get information. It is sure to drive any person insane within a matter of minutes, one would think. Rumor has it that the inhabitants of the prison have also heard the paralyzing sounds of the Sesame St. theme song played at max volume. Not just for hours, but for days. Big Bird and the gang probably take much less time to drive a terrorist mad, that’s for damn sure! Sounds horrible to me. I’ll never look at Sesame St. the same again.
9. There’s A Strong Military Presence
Our military has roughly 2000 soldiers occupying the Naval base located in southeastern Cuba. That seems like a lofty number of highly skilled soldiers to be watching over just 50 or so detainees, doesn’t it? A sizeable portion of our population would argue that our military presence around the world is too large. America, was once a respected global power, and it needs to keep its own house in order before poking its nose into the problems of the rest of the world. Those American citizens would have a valid argument, wouldn’t they? Despite which side of the fence you’re on, it seems rather peculiar that we would need so many of our military personnel stationed anywhere besides here at home.
8. They Simulate Drowning As Torture
The Merriam Webster definition of waterboarding is, “an interrogation technique in which water is forced into a detainee’s mouth and nose so as to induce the sensation of drowning.” Any way you interpret that definition, it spells torture for the inmates involved in this inhumane practice. Waterboarding is a technique that’s been used by our military at the infamous facility dating back years. Casting serious doubts in the American public’s head as to what really happens behind the razor-sharp fences of Guantanamo’s prison walls. Apparently, pouring water over a person’s face while they’re restrained is on the menu for any terrorist who finds themselves in that bone chilling circumstance.
7. They Don’t Let Inmates Sleep
Sleep deprivation is known to slice apart the inner fabric of any prisoner. It’s long been used as a means of torture around the world. That fact is no different when it comes to speaking about Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. The U. S. military, as far back as 2002, was publicly chastised for using such means of torture on the inmates being held at the mysterious facility. In some accounts, for 16 days at a time. This left the international community to wonder if there’s any sanity that remains from those that are at the highest ranks of our government. What the rest of the world doesn’t know is that the majority of U.S. citizens don’t know the answer to that question either.
6. Inmates Have Taken Their Own Lives
It doesn’t require a ton of convincing to believe Guantanamo Bay Naval Base is one prison camp a terrorist doesn’t want to end up in. Since the base began housing suspected fugitives in 2002, a reported total of nine inmate deaths have occurred inside of its prison walls. Over the past decade, as many as three prisoners have been found dead after taking their own life. They were discovered hanging in their jail cells… all on the same morning. Whether their decision to commit suicide was due to abuse, or their belief in a God, we’ll never know. Whatever the reason, it was obviously enough to have found them dead come sunrise. They took their answers with them to their graves.
5. They Use Cold Cells For Torture
Records show that Brazil was the first country to implement the use of Cold Cell torture back in the mid-1960s. Temperature related torture by its very nature is exactly what it sounds like. A prisoner is held against their will and forced to endure extreme fluctuations in temperature, breaking their resolve as quickly as possible. Such methods date back centuries and have been practiced at Guantanamo Bay as early as 2005 by the C.I.A. They categorize Cold Cell torture as an advanced interrogation technique. I’m not sure the idea of freezing prisoners is an advanced form of any sort of thinking. Turning suspected terrorists into popsicles just to get the confessions they’re seeking comes across pretty desperate, don’t you think?
4. Many Released Detainees Go Back To A Life Of Crime
More than 650 prisoners believed to have been fugitives have come and gone from Guantanamo Bay’s shores since 2002. The prisoners vary in creed, color, and origin. Of those detainees, most have been of Muslim descent. Inmates who’ve been fortunate enough to be released were relocated to various countries. A report by the office of the Department of National Intelligence declares that over 100 of previous detainees who’ve been released have been discovered committing terrorist acts again. Beginning where they had left off before being sent to Guantanamo Bay and living within their terrorist networks. That wouldn’t be a small number of terrorists, even if there were only 100 in existence. Having just one out there is one too many.
3. They Say You’re Going To Be Executed To Make You Crack
Leading any prisoner of war to believe that they’ll be executed without any truth to the matter is a war crime and against international law. Feeling the cold that comes off the old Grim Reaper for just a second can bring even the strongest person to their knees. So put yourself in the shoes, or should I say slippers, maybe sandals, of an inmate who’s been brainwashed into believing that they won’t ever be released from the facility. They will remain at Guantanamo Bay until the Grim Reaper comes for them some day. Military personnel at the detention center have reportedly used Fake Executions as a way of breaking prisoners. This form of torture encourages inmates to confess to any allegations against them and tell the truth. By doing so they’ll get their life in return.
2. Anything To Make Them Break
Nope, we aren’t talking Ouija Boards, Voodoo Dolls, or haunted stories about black magic around a campfire. We’re talking about the practice of brainwashing a person in the worst possible way. That would entail denying inmates their human rights, force feeding them, and blaring loud music into their ears. Combine all those horrific “methods” of interrogation and add them to all the other means of torture the U.S. government has used at Guantanamo Bay, set an egg timer to it and when it rings, what you’ve got is mind control, breaking detainees at their very core and forcing them to confess. That’s if they’re guilty. If they weren’t willing to talk before, I’m sure they would when they’re put through all of that. Heck, they might even confess to something they didn’t do just to make the torture stop.
1. They Go Back On The Streets When Released
So, where did all the terrorist go? Possibly the darkest fact is that our government doesn’t want you to know. They’d prefer that the public learn as little as possible about where ex-prisoners of Guantanamo reside. That’s because these ex-inmates are now back on the streets and their whereabouts are sealed inside of a manila envelope for years. This hardly makes any of us feel safer; especially, when so many of those inmates return to their life of crime. Statistics are available for which countries the U.S. is sending ex-prisoners to (that is, the ones they’re willing to disclose). And even then, are you still willing to believe anything the government says? Makes a person wonder what the point of having Guantanamo Bay could really be.