Tags: gitmo | classes | library

Millions Spent on Gitmo Detainee 'Life' Classes, Library Services

Image: Millions Spent on Gitmo Detainee 'Life' Classes, Library Services Books available to detainees at the Guantanamo Bay library.

Tuesday, 19 Nov 2013 10:27 AM

By Lisa Furgison

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Detainees at Guantanamo Bay can now enroll in landscaping, art, and life skills classes while the Obama administration figures out what to do with them.

According to The Washington Times, the terror detainees can sign up for seminars lasting an hour to 90 minutes once or more a day in a program that the government is apparently spending $5 million to provide, along with library services.

The art seminar includes lessons in watercolor painting, charcoal sketching, and Arabic calligraphy. The landscaping class teaches detainees about plants and pruning techniques, while the life skills class teaches prisoners how to use computers and even Microsoft PowerPoint.

The classes offer detainees a way to pass the time while the government sorts out what should be done with them.

The Obama administration has vowed to shutdown the prison at the U.S. naval station in Cuba, which was opened in 2001 after war in Afghanistan started. Concerns about interrogation techniques, cell sizes, and detainee hunger strikes have made the prison a hot button issue for lawmakers.

Obama is pushing to get detainees transferred from the prison in an upcoming defense bill, but he'll likely face strong opposition from Republicans, many of whom believe the base in Cuba is the best place to hold suspected terrorists.

The details about the prisoner education program surfaced in court documents, according to the Times, after a lawsuit was filed concerning a $5 million contract to provide seminar and library services at the prison.

According to Times, a company called Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions LLC created and offered the seminar program, but the Pentagon selected another company to provide the services through a bidding process. In response, Torres filed a lawsuit challenging the contract.

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