Looking for a fun vacation spot this season? If you're a journalist, consider a trip to exotic non-Cuba, the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center!
Several times a month, the military parades groups of journalists through the detention camps at the naval station here in an effort to clear up what it says are "common misrepresentations" about the way the camps’ 176 detainees are treated.
The tours — part of a package deal complete with lodging, ground transportation and three meals a day from the Navy mess hall — offer what the Pentagon promotes as a behind-the-scenes peek into one of the government’s most secretive missions in the campaign against terror.
Well, that sounds like fun! A "package deal" with a bed for the night, a Personal Driver, and Navy mess hall haute cuisine? Better than a trip to South of the Border, that's for damn sure.
Unfortunately, journalists who actually want to "report" a "story" will likely find their attempts stymied by the military's famous Gitmo brand of hospitality…
During their visits, journalists must agree to limits on what they can report and document. Among the biggest sources of disagreement between the media and the public affairs officers on the base have been rules that restrict what kinds of photos can be taken. Every photo in a camera brought by a journalist to the naval base is reviewed — regardless of whether it was taken there or not.
This has led to some awkward moments between military censors and the reporters and photographers who have come to Guantánamo with personal pictures on their cameras.
So to recap: Bring your sunscreen and your penchant for fun, but not your cameraphone full of photos of you banging the office factchecker. Got it? Good!
Tags: Guantanamo Bay, Military, Terrorism