You’ve heard the old saw about the inmates running the asylum. In the new modern version the inmates are running the prison.
In particular, the detained terrorists who are currently housed at Gitmo are apparently in charge. For the most part Gitmo’s commanders have been giving them whatever they want.
As Paul Sperry reported today in The New York Post:
Gitmo is no longer a prison camp; it’s a state-sponsored madrassa. But that’s not good enough for these inmates. They’re now demanding newer facilities and easier access to lawyers. More are threatening hunger strikes and unrest if they don’t get their way.
Before anyone gets the idea that I am going to use Gitmo to bash the Obama administration, some of the more egregious examples date to the Bush administration.
Take, for example, the great exercise machine kerfuffle.
Sperry explains that, in 2007 the inmates were eating so much of the Islamically correct food that they started putting on weight. So the camp officials decided to buy them some exercise equipment, like treadmills. Can’t have overweight terrorists on our hands, can we?
But then, the inmates discovered that the treadmills were made in America. To their minds that meant that the machines had been produced by “infidels.” So the Bush administration replaced them with others that had been made in Muslim countries.
As I say, who was running the place?
Was it too much to tell these terrorists that if they didn’t like the exercise equipment, they could stuff it?
What would Margaret Thatcher have done? Remember when the Iron Lady was faced with a hunger strike by IRA terrorists. She did not want to deprive them of their dignity by force feeding them, so she let them exercise their free choice not to eat. The consequences were predictable.
The Iron Lady was of sterner stuff than America’s politicians.
Today’s Americans are terrified that they will incite Muslim terrorists. Tell me, again, who is winning the great civilizational war?
Sperry quotes a former Gitmo official:
He said they get as many as four choices of halal meals and have access to a new $750,000 soccer field. Islamic prayer beads and rugs are now “standard issue.” They get their choice of more than 10,000 Islamic books and videos stocked by a Muslim librarian, who also records soccer and Arabic TV for them. They even have their own clerics to preach to them in Arabic.
Everyone gets a Koran, paperback or hardback, along with little hammocks to keep their holy book from touching the ground when not in use.
Guards are prohibited from handling the books. The Muslim librarian is “the only one that’s allowed to touch the Korans anymore, per detainee request,” the official said. “If I went into the Koran room and started rifling through a Koran, I could be fired.”
But no one gets a Bible, because the Bible could “incite” the terrorists.
Little hammocks … clearly the situation at Gitmo is worse than anyone imagined.
If you assume that a lot of these people will eventually be let loose, doesn’t it sound like Gitmo has been turned into a terrorist training camp?
The worst is this:
Detainees even persuaded prison officials to stop raising the American flag anywhere they could see it.
The terrorists now get to dictate when and where American soldiers can raise the American flag. Is there no end to our government’s cowardice?
If you were a detained terrorist, would you think that your culture had won or lost? If you were imprisoned in Gitmo would you believe that Americans were proud or ashamed of their culture, their tradition, their nation?
Why would these prisoners, once released, not return to the battlefield? Haven't we signaled clearly that we are willing to submit to their culture?
Considering that the problem with many immigrant Muslims is the failure to assimilate, doesn’t the Gitmo policy tell Muslims that they do not have to, because America will accommodate them… even if it means not waving the flag in public.
If you think that that is bad, the officials running Gitmo believe that they have not done enough to create good conditions for their terrorist detainees.
Sperry recounts the new plans, along with the astronomical cost of holding these prisoners:
So the Pentagon is considering plans for a $150million overhaul to what is already the world’s most costly prison per capita. Each inmate at Gitmo costs roughly $800,000 a year to detain, for a total annual operating budget of more than $170 million.
The military already has approved construction projects, including a new $11 million hospital and medical units for detainees, along with a $10 million “legal meeting complex,” where lawyers and human-rights groups can huddle with detainees.
Supposedly, this is all about PR. The American government is worried about its image. It is concerned that the wrong image will provoke anti-American riots in, say, Benghazi.
Our policy, dating to the Bush administration seems to involve a goodly dose of appeasement. Perhaps our government is trying to generate some positive press. Perhaps it is trying not to incite civil liberties advocates. Perhaps it is worrying about the opinion of sophisticated European intellectuals.
Then again, we might be trying to influence all of the incipient terrorists out there.
Do you think that, upon hearing out that we are willing bow down to the demands of Islam, they will fear the wrath of America? Or will they feel that they need to get more involved in the effort to bring down an Empire that seems no longer to be willing to defend itself?