Gitmo Prisoners' New Perk: $750K Soccer Field

Many Guantanamo Bay detainees will be allowed access sans escorts
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 29, 2012 8:34 AM CST
In this photo taken May 13, 2009, a Guantanamo detainee holds a soccer ball, just before dusk, inside the exercise yard at Camp 4 detention facility, at Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base, Cuba.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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(Newser) – For those in the US wailing about wasteful government spending and/or the Obama administration's failure to close Guantanamo Bay, cue the outrage: Gitmo detainees are getting a new soccer field, which will cost taxpayers $744,000. The field is just about finished and was shown to reporters during a tour yesterday; it is half the size of an American football field and will be available to the "highly compliant" detainees living in the communal setting of Camp 6. Of the 171 detainees still being held at Guantanamo Bay, 85% are in Camp 6, the Washington Post notes.

Camp 6 already has both an indoor and an outdoor recreation field; a soccer field was chosen as the third field because the sport is quite popular with the inmates, many of whom lost the ability to play when they were transferred to Camp 6 from the now-shuttered Camp 4, which featured a dirt area they used as a field. Detainees will have access to the new field about 20 hours per day when it opens around April, and will be allowed to enter it without being escorted by a guard thanks to special passageways that are being built. A military police representative notes that outdoor activity helps to reduce behavioral problems, Fox News reports. (Read more Guantanamo Bay stories.)

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