The military unveiled a new $744,000 soccer field on 28 FEB, a dusty enclosure with two-toned gravel and fences topped by barbed wire — all designed as a quality of life improvement for cooperative captives. The goals were missing but the military had erected two guard towers, lights and surveillance cameras at the site outside a penitentiary-style building called Camp 6 where the Pentagon imprisons about 120 of the 171 captives here. News photography was forbidden for security reasons, said Navy Cmdr. Tamsen Reese, prison camps spokeswoman, whose public relations team released Pentagon-approved photos of the 28,000-square-foot field later in the day.
The showcase soccer field — half the size of an American football field — is being built by Burns and Roe Services Corp., said a Pentagon spokesman, Army Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale. It should open in April, as the third recreation yard at Guantánamo’s main prison camp complex, a year after construction began on what is currently the largest expansion under way at the decade-old detention center. The Obama administration estimates that it spends $800,000 a year per captive on basic operating costs for the detention center, whose staff numbers 1,850 government employees from contractors to guards. When it was suggested that the price tag was excessive, Reese replied that this base’s remote location at times doubles construction costs. It was also noted that the Pentagon estimates that it spends $800,000 a year per captive on basic operating costs for the detainee camp. The National Association of Uniformed Sources (NAUS) commenting on the expenditures in light of the proposed increases in medical cost to military retirees has expressed their concern on whether or not the people/terrorists in Guantanamo are prisoners. If it was determined that the field was absolutely necessary, why should American taxpayers charged for an American construction company to be flown there along with all their equipment and supplies? Why couldn’t the prisoners be provided the hand tools to build their own field? In addition, NAUS finds it curious that the expenditure is listed at $744,000, which coincidently falls below the $750,000 threshold needed for congressional approval on Guantanamo projects. [Source: Miami Herald Carl Rosenberg article 28 Feb 2012 ++]