Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Gitmo Resort

The American vice-president, Dick Cheney, provoked fresh uproar over Guantánamo Bay yesterday after he claimed that prisoners held by the US there were "living in the tropics" and had been given everything they could possibly want.

His comments, the latest attempt by leading Republicans to portray the prison at the US base in Cuba as something of a holiday camp, came as evidence emerged that military doctors have helped interrogators by advising them how to increase stress levels and exploit the fears of the detainees.

In an interview with CNN, however, Mr Cheney insisted: "They got a brand new facility down at Guantánamo. We spent a lot of money to build it. They're very well treated there. They're living in the tropics. They're well fed. They've got everything they could possibility want." He added: "There isn't any other nation in the world that would treat people who were determined to kill Americans the way we're treating these people."

A spokesman for Amnesty International said his comments "missed the point" completely. "It is not a matter of climate or what food prisoners get, but a question of justice," the spokesman said. "Instead of pretending that Guantánamo Bay is a kind of resort rather than a detention centre, Mr Cheney should urge a restoration of basic rights for prisoners held there."

At a recent congressional hearing, Republican senator Jeff Sessions said the site, on the south-eastern tip of Cuba, "would make a magnificent resort", while a Republican congressman, Duncan Hunter, told reporters recently: "The inmates have never eaten better ... they've never been treated better, and they've never been more comfortable in their lives."

From the Guardian


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