Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready." - Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Guantanamo Detainees Get $744,000 Soccer Field

Can you imagine this?

I was absolutely shocked when I read that our Department of Defense spent $744,000 to build a new Soccer Field for the Terrorist detainees in Guantanamo Bay.

The first word of this BS came out on Tuesday, February 28th, and I was absolutely floored! This is just insane! Everyone should be writing their Congressman or women screaming for answers! 

The news story said that "at a time of record deficits, a new soccer field for detainees at Camp 6 in Guantanamo Bay is just getting the finishing touches - at a cost of $750,000 to Taxpayers."

Well, the Soccer Field cost $744,000 of Taxpayer money - not $750,000 as first reported. This is an important detail. And yes, you will not be happy when you find out why.

Believe it or not, the Defense Department made the new Soccer Field the highlight of a tour of the detention camp for Reporters. The reporters, just so happened, were at the facility covering the arraignment in a Military Court of Majid Khan, a detainee at Guantanamo.

Building the Soccer Field began in April 2011, and is due to finish this spring. The detainees will now have 3 Recreation Facilities at Camp 6.

In addition to an Indoor Recreation Field and the existing Outdoor Recreation Field, the new Soccer Field is half the size of an American Football Field.

It was built by the Department of Defense because Soccer is such a popular sport with the Detainees.

Amazing way of thinking huh? And here I was under the impression that Guantanamo Bay Prison Facilities were really Prison Facilities.

What a bunch of BS. This isn't Hard Time. This is the epitome of Federal Correction Facilities known as Club Feds. 

The new Soccer Field was specially constructed so that the detainees "have maximum access" to it. That means that they can have access to it about 20 hours a day without being bothered by pesky guards.

That's right, special passageways were designed into the construction of the new Soccer Field to allow the detainees an ability to pass into the new recreation yard without being escorted. I guess the guards in Gitmo have better things to do, then to just monitor and escort prisoners -- Oops! I mean detainees!

Also according to the report, on the tour, a Military Police representative who asked not to be identified by name said allowing high levels of activity outdoors helped reduce behavioral problems at the Camps, and it also limited the amount of interaction between detainees and the guards.

I find this absolutely incredible! Here I thought that we were making life rough on those terrorist Jerkweeds so that we'd get information from them regarding future attacks and such.

I really believe that with the way that these detainees are living in Gitmo, I can't see why they'd bother giving anyone any information at all. They don't have to turn over information, they are living well!

And if you don't think so, then please compare their Communal Setting with Recreation Areas and no guards annoying them to how they would be living if they were in their own country's custody.

So now fast forward to today, March 3rd.

Fox News reports that at least four House members and one staffer from the Senate appropriations committee have pushed the Department of Defense for answers on the new Soccer Field for detainees at Camp 6 in Guantanamo Bay.

Fox News first reported on the $750,000 controversial project on Tuesday.

And please remember that the correct amount is $744,000 - that is a very important detail to this story. And yes, who'll find out why in a minute.

And no, you won't be happy to hear about why it is so important.

So Congressman Dennis A. Ross, R-Fla., is now introducing a bill called the "NO FIELD ACT" that would penalize the Department of Defense and cut the 2013 budget by $744,000 - which is the real price tag for the Camp 6 Soccer Field.

"This may be the poster child for this election as to what's wrong with this country," Ross told Fox News in an interview from Tampa.

"We're talking about a significant amount of money spent for Terrorist detainees at a camp that we are told is supposed to be closed," he said.

Remember that President Obama made a Campaign Promise to his minion that he would close the detention centers at Guantanamo Bay. But after hearing about this, his supporters might not want that Club Fed closed.

Then Congressman Ross said that the message from voters was clear. "I have heard from my constituents, 'please tell us this is not true,' you're asking us to contribute and is this the fair share the President is talking about?"

On the House floor this week, Congressman Ted Poe, R-Tx., underscored, what he portrayed, as the lunacy of the project.

"While American soldiers are killed in Afghanistan," Poe said, "the U.S. government is getting ready for its grand opening of the Soccer Field."

"A swanky high-dollar soccer field for criminal Terrorist detainees at Gitmo. And of course, Americans are picking up the $750,000 tab for the recreation facilities for these criminals," he said.

Then went on to say, "These radicals should be doing Hard Time, not Soccer Time. Our government has no business building this tropical Caribbean recreation facility for terrorists. It is disrespectful and insulting to all who are victims of these killers. What's next at this terrorist playground? A tiki hut and bar on the beach?"

As I stated earlier, the Guantanamo Bay Camp 6 new Soccer Field is about half the size of an American Football Field. It has special passages that allow detainees to go from the detention center to the outdoors - without guards or military escorts of any sort.

The 28,000-square-foot field includes a Soft Walking Track, and it is scheduled to be open for Terrorist detainees to use after bathrooms and goal posts are added.

OK, now here comes the time when a career politician is asked if he knew that his department is spending $744,000 on a Soccer Field for Terrorist detainees"?

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was asked about the project at this week's House budget hearing.

Congressman Huelskamp, R-Kan., asked him, "I had a constituent that contacted me today about a News item. Did you know that apparently our federal taxpayers are paying for a $750,000 Soccer Field at Gitmo? Is that something that Department of Defense knew about?"

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, having heard the question twice, said he was not familiar with the project.

Well guess what! Someone must have known about it! The thing didn't get authorized on its own!


In an absolutely strange statement on the reason for the new $744,000 Soccer Field, Rear Admiral David Woods, who is the Navy's Commander at Guantanamo, who oversees the camps, actually had the nerve to blame "the high cost of the Soccer Field on the need to ship equipment and materials to the remote Navy base."

I don't know if it's on purpose or by mistake, but somehow Admiral Woods seems to be missing the point all together. 

Especially when he added that "their mission is to keep the detainees under safe conditions that provide socialization. Outdoor recreation has encouraged good behavior from detainees which improves the working conditions for the guards."

It amazes me that an Admiral in the United States Navy does not see a problem with furnishing a state of the art Soccer Field to Terrorists.

It bothers me that the Navy feels that they need to "provide socialization" for Terrorists and criminals. And yes, I'm really surprised that the Navy is concerned with using an incentive program for Terrorist in the form of Outdoor Recreation.

These are supposed to be detainees, prisoners, Terrorists. Why is there a need to provide them with luxury items as a "reward" while they are being held.  Where did this insane concept come from of providing socialization and outdoor recreation to "encourage" good behavior ?

On a tour of the camps, Navy Commander Tamsen Reese said that most of the detainees were now housed in Camp 6 and they were used to communal living in an open air camp because they followed the rules.

"What the commander here is trying to do is make sure that we continue to maintain the same standard that we've had here and recognizing again that when the detainees moved from 4 to 6 this was one of, and again this was the first Communal Camp, this was one of the things the detainees enjoyed the most was the large Recreation Area," Reese told reporters.

Yes, unless I'm very wrong here, I believe the Navy Commander was actually trying to say that the reason for the $744,000 Soccer Field is because "this was one of the things the detainees enjoyed."

Now does that sound as crazy to you as it does me?

As far as I'm concerned, who cares what those Jerkweeds enjoy?

Since when is it the Mission of the Defense Department and the United States Navy to provide Terrorist detainees with perks and things they "enjoy"?

I simply can't imagine where that sort of thinking comes from!

I don't understand or agree with either Rear Admiral Woods or Commander Tamsen Reese.  I simply don't understand their way of thinking.  I don't agree with rewarding Terrorist detainees for following the rules.

The concept goes way over the top. I simply don't agree with providing Terrorist with luxury items like a new Soccer Field because they will "enjoy" it. 

To me, that whole concept is nuts!

Now, regarding the amount of $744,000 of Taxpayer money. The price tag of $744,000 is significant.

Why is that figure so vital to this story? Well, it's because if that amount was any higher - it couldn't have been hidden out of view!

Yes, as a Pentagon spokesman said, anything over $749,000 needs Congressional approval. By them making sure it was under that amount, they could hide the project from any sort of scrutiny.

So by the Navy and the Department of Defense making sure that their project to build the Terrorist detainees a new Soccer Field comes in under that $749,000 mark - they will be able to get away with it - without anyone ever knowing about it!

Not one Conservative, who I know personally, talk with, or get e-mail from, wants to cut the Defense Budget. A few, who I know, talk about wanting to cut the waste in the Defense Budget.

Well friends, this is waste! And because those in charge knew that it would come under investigation if they spent more than $744,000 - to me, if it ain't out and out criminal - then it is most definitely skirting the law.

What makes me angry about this is that whenever Congress or the President starts talking about cuts to the Defense Department's Budget - the Defense Department reacts with threats of cuts to troop strength, doing away with whole units, and getting rid of successful weapon's systems.

According to Wikipedia, "The military budget is that portion of the United States discretionary federal budget that is allocated to the Department of Defense, or more broadly, the portion of the budget that goes to any defense-related expenditures.

This military budget pays the salaries, training, and health care of uniformed and civilian personnel, maintains arms, equipment and facilities, funds operations, and develops and buys new equipment. The budget funds all branches of the U.S. military: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps."

In the 2010 United States Federal Budget, the Department of Defense was allocated a base budget of $533.7 billion.  The new Soccer Field in Gitmo cost almost $1million. That is a big figure when we're in the economic pinch that we're in. 

But friends, three quarters of $1 million taken out of a $533 billion budget is a big figure anytime. And yes, it becomes even bigger when we consider that the Department of Defense only spent about $3 billion on all of the Family Housing for all of the married personnel in all of our services combined in 2010.

Essentially, someone in the Defense Department took about a huge bite out of the budget for Family Housing - and used it to build a Soccer Field for Terrorist prisoners who want to kill us.

This is not only irresponsible wasteful spending, but this is blatant dishonesty because of the way they worked this just to keep their spending on the project a secret from anyone who might have a say so on whether it is waste or not. 

It's all very crooked! Slick dealing by underhanded people is what it all amounts to!

They, meaning the people who built this $744,000 Soccer Field, knew that they needed to keep it below the $749,000 spending mark to get away with it.

That's how criminal minds think! They know full well that they are breaking the law, and are very aware of how to get around being caught.

And they would have - if it weren't stumbled on merely by accident. I don't think the person giving the tour to those reporters actually realized the impact of his showing off their new Soccer Field to those Reports. I think he thought it was all above board.

Because of this, I say cut the Defense Department of those needed funds that they spent so frivolously - and yes, fire those responsible for having this built.

After that, I say we take a hard look at the kinds of luxuries that we the American Taxpayer are affording Terrorist detainees.  We need to evaluate what we are doing in Gitmo!

If its just a Communal Setting with multiple Recreation Areas and a New Soccer Field - then we ought to close that Club Fed facility and ship those Jerkweeds to civilian facilities where they well not be treated as wonderfully by bleeding hearts who want them to "enjoy" themselves.

Maybe we should ship them back to their native countries and pay for their incarceration in their prisons? I can promise you that these Jerkweeds would not be cuddled and pampered with Soccer Fields and no contact with the guards!

Lastly, according to reports, it not surprising, but so far Democrats have been silent on the issue.

And believe it or not, the ACLU, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, who advocate for detainee rights, had no comment.

I'm thinking that that's probably because the American public is now getting a better idea of what the Federal government considers detention centers and prisons for Terrorists who have made it their mission to kill us.


THIS COST ALMOST A MILLION DOLLARS $$$
 Story by Tom Correa

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