$60 MILLION PRISON OPENS
GITMO TO CLOSE-PRISONERS UPGRADED
The Obama administration plans to detain international terrorism suspects to a 5,0000 acre U.S. military base on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan.
The prison facility at the Bagram Air Base has been constructed at a cost of $60 million to American taxpayers.
Holding suspects captured outside Afghanistan at Bagram Air Base would create another prison serving the same purpose as the one President Barack Obama has pledged to close in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The idea has drawn stiff opposition from Army Gen. Stanley McCrystal, the top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and other senior officials. Opponents worry the expansion of the facility at Bagram air base could make it harder to stabilize the country, the Times said.
“General McCrystal’s singular focus is on making sure our military campaign is successful,” a senior Defense Department official said. “Anything that potentially complicates that is something they are reluctant to embrace.”
Detainee abuse, including two deaths, occurred at Bagram early in the Afghan war, and the prison there had been criticized for harsh interrogations and the amount of time it held suspects without trials.
But the new facility offers detainees spotless cells with fresh linen, clean blankets, and, of course, their petsonal copy of the Quran.
The prisoners can spend their time playing soccer on a newly created soccer field, watching newly released movies, attending religious classes (Islamic, of course), napping, or conversing with friends, relatives and fellow jihadis through video links.
The cost of maintaining the prison is $5 million a year, but this figure does NOT include the cost per detainee.
Despite the exemplary treatment granted to the detainees, Taliban prisoners regularly throw feces and spit at visiting dignitaries and US military personnel.
Consideration of the plan, which needs Obama’s approval, is an indication the administration has few other places to hold and interrogate foreign prisoners outside the U.S. court system, senior administration officials told the Los Angeles Times.
The officials said that with no non-U.S. location for sending prisoners, the administration must bring the prisoners back to the United States or turn them over to foreign governments. Killing them – – even the most violent – – is not an option under the prevailing rules of engagement.
“No one particularly likes any of the choices before us right now, but Bagram may be the least bad among them,” the Defense Department official said.
A White House spokesman refused to comment.