Pentagon launches Guantanamo PR campaign
The Pentagon has launched a public relations campaign to offset the negative publicity about its terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Officials from the Joint Chiefs of Staff Detainee Affairs Section have worked up a new briefing and made presentations in recent months to some 3,000 people, including media representatives and members of Congress, stressing the strategic value of detainees at the prison camp. The briefings present a benign picture of life at Gitmo, noting the presence of decent food, healthcare, and literacy training for the inmates. Notwithstanding allegations of psychological and physical torture, officials say the biggest threats faced by many detainees are in fact frequent sports injuries on Gitmo basketball courts.
The briefing notes that many of the remaining 480 detainees continue to provide useful intelligence, including help in identifying current al Qaeda operatives and supporters and in revealing favored bomb-making techniques that use pagers, cellphones, and watches. One prisoner described a complex encoded "dual tone multifrequency" detonation system used first in the Chechen conflict and now by insurgents in Iraq. The information, officials say, has given U.S. forces a chance to combat the technique.