Ten Facts about Guantanamo
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Defense Department Update
September 14, 2006 - Ten Facts about Guantanamo
- The detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility include bin Laden's bodyguards, bomb makers, terrorist trainers and facilitators, and other suspected terrorists.
- More money is spent on meals for detainees than on the U.S. troops stationed there. Detainees are offered up to 4,200 calories a day. The average weight gain per detainee is 20 pounds.
- The Muslim call to prayer sounds five times a day. Arrows point detainees toward the holy city of Mecca.
- Detainees receive medical, dental, psychiatric, and optometric care at U.S. taxpayers' expense. In 2005, there were 35 teeth cleanings, 91 cavities filled, and 174 pairs of glasses issued.
- The International Committee of the Red Cross visits detainees at the facility every few months. More than 20,000 messages between detainees and their families have been exchanged.
- Recreation activities include basketball, volleyball, soccer, pingpong, and board games. High-top sneakers are provided.
- Departing detainees receive a Koran, a jean jacket, a white T-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, high-top sneakers, a gym bag of toiletries, and a pillow and blanket for the flight home.
- Entertainment includes Arabic language TV shows, including World Cup soccer games. The library has 3,500 volumes available in 13 languages—the most requested book is "Harry Potter."
- Guantanamo is the most transparent detention facility in the history of warfare. The Joint Task Force has hosted more than 1,000 journalists from more than 40 countries.
- In 2005, Amnesty International stated that "the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has become the gulag of our times."
From the Department of Defense Office of Public Affairs–OSD Writers' Group