Some terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay are currently waging a hunger strike over what they call cruel conditions at the U.S. military base, but in 2007 extraordinary measures were taken by the Obama administration to ensure the prisoners' comfort.
At one point, the prisoners gained so much weight eating an Islamic-approved diet the camp ordered exercise machines to help them trim down, the New York Post reports.
But as soon as the prisoners noticed the machines were made in America, and not a Muslim country, they refused to use them, an official at the camp then told the Post.
"So what did we do?" said the official, who requested anonymity. "We took all of that s--t out, gave it to the soldiers to use, and bought them equipment that was made in a Muslim part of the world."
Even the prisoners currently on hunger strike were gaining weight, said the official, calling the detainees "some of the most pampered prisoners on the planet."
They get up to four choices of halal meals, use of a new $750,000 soccer field and Islamic prayer beads and rugs. They also get Qurans and tiny hammocks to hang them in to keep them from touching the ground. Only the Muslim librarian can touch the Qurans, the official said.
At one point the prisoners persuaded officials not to raise the American flag where they could see it.
The Pentagon, which did not comment for the Post article, is considering a $150 million renovation of the facility to meet prisoner demands. Already, prisoners cost $800,000 a year to detain, the Post said.
"I know some in the military leadership who are trying to make things more comfortable [for the detainees], but it’s not really about making the detainees more comfortable," the official told the Post. "It’s about placating the Beltway and making the P.R. war shift in our direction a little bit."
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