[Marxism] Fun in the Sun: Gitmo Gets Makeover as R&R Resort

Dbachmozart at aol.com Dbachmozart at aol.com
Wed Jun 25 15:10:15 MDT 2008

Flowers,  fishies, frogs and dolphins, and the most precious, cutesy color 
printing you  ever saw: "Someone who loved me got me this t-shirt in Guantanamo 
Bay, Cuba!" 
Chris Floyd -  Empire Burlesque
June 23, 2008

You can pick up  one of these sparkly items for the kids – along with stuffed 
iguanas, decorated  coffee mugs ("Kisses from Guantanamo Bay!"), snazzy 
keyrings ("It don't GITMO  better than this!") and all manner of bric-a-brac from 
the sun-drenched heaven  that bills itself as "Taliban Towers, the Caribbean's 
Newest 5-star  Resort."  Yes, the Pentagon has turned the Terror War 
concentration camp at  Guantanamo Bay into a luxurious vacation spot for military 
personnel and their  families – and military contractors, too, of course!

_As the Daily Mail  reported_ 
(http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-563791/Greetings-Guantanamo-Bay---sickest-souvenir-shop-world.html)  recently, the 
Pentagon has splashed out for white  sand beaches, a golf course, movie 
theaters, a bowling alley, restaurants – even  a Wal-Mart – right next to the 
holding pens where Terror War captives have  languished in limbo for years, enduring 
endless isolation,"harsh interrogation  techniques" and other holiday 

We don't mean to imply that the serious business  going on at Gitmo is 
ignored, however. Far from it. The gift shop features  several items that make antic 
hay of the concentration camp's dread purpose.  Barbed wire and guard tires 
are a prevalent motif on various cups and shirts,  for example. You can sip 
your beachside latte in a cup that tells the world that  the Bush gulag is "Honor 
Bound to Defend Freedom." And if you find froggies and  dolphins a bit too 
frilly, you can always prepare your kids to take their  rightful place in the 
Terror War imperium with a t-shirt emblazoned "Future  Behavior Modification 
Instructor." It makes learning fun! 

Here's more from the Daily Mail (via the _Angry Arab_ 
(http://angryarab.blogspot.com/) ): 

The Guantanamo holiday trade was exposed by Zachary  Katznelson, a 
British-based human rights lawyer and spokesman for Reprieve, the  group leading the 
international campaign against the camp. "When I see the  conditions the 
prisoners have to cope with and then think of the T-shirt  slogans, I am appalled," he 
said. "To say I am repulsed is an understatement.  Unbelievable as it may 
seem, the US authorities are proud of the 'souvenirs' and  what they are doing." 

Mr  Katznelson represents 28 of the detainees and makes regular visits to the 
 prison. "The military keeps a tight hold on everything that is available in  
Guantanamo Bay and someone senior has given their approval for this 
disgusting  nonsense," he said…

His  anger is shared by other human rights campaigners. Shami Chakrabarti, 
director  of Liberty, said Guantanamo represents a shameful chapter in American 
history.  Amnesty International said: "These supposedly 'fun' souvenirs are in 
grotesquely  bad taste and the fact that they are on sale at the camp quite 
frankly beggars  belief."

There are currently 280 prisoners sweltering in  cages in temperatures of up 
to 100F (38C). The camp, where 7,000 soldiers are  stationed, was established 
in 2002 following the invasion of  Afghanistan…

"The majority are kept in isolation in cells that  are no bigger than a 
toilet," said Katznelson. "There is no sea view. Instead,  if they have a window, 
it looks out on to a bleak corridor. The cells are lined  with steel from floor 
to ceiling, including the toilet, sink and bed base. There  is a popular 
misconception that these men have had trials and been found guilty.  Nothing is 
further from the truth. Not one of them has…

Katznelson continued: "Inmates are offered three  meals a day, but there are 
eight prisoners who have been on hunger strike for  over a year asking either 
for a trial or to be set free. These men are force-fed  twice a day. First 
they are strapped down with 16 different restrictions,  including one that jerks 
their head back. Then a tube is fed through their nose  and down into their 
stomach. The guards don't always use lubrication and  regularly use the same 
tube for several different prisoners without bothering to  clean it."

You can read more about the  amenities enjoyed by the non-paying guests at 
Gitmo _in this piece_ (http://www.chris-floyd.com/content/view/1543/135/) ,  
which points you to a mass of material detailing their treatment, including the  
landmark series from McClatchy Newspapers. 


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