Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

Club Gitmo

Jun 27 2005

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend I spent part of the weekend down in the Tropics. I went to an island down in the Caribbean. And the place where I went had an ocean view, and the facility is relatively new. Some of the rooms are air-conditioned and some are not. Some of the rooms actually would meet ADA standards for the physically challenged.

The guests that were there, they were not working. They are standing around talking. There is a lot of talking and I noticed that there are soccer courts. There are volleyball courts. There is table tennis, and they are building a new basketball court.

I ate lunch, the same meals that the guests had. The lunch that I had was marinated chicken with orange sauce, rice pilaf, steamed vegetables, plenty of rolls and butter. Some of the guests that are there have even gained up to 5 to 10 pounds while being there.

New medical facilities are there, new dental facilities. The people that are there average four medical visits a week or, rather, a month. That is more than most Americans do in a year.

The medical personnel there performed 128 surgeries, and no one that has been there, of the 700 guests that have been there, not one has died from any cause. In fact, the medical personnel saved the lives of numerous ones.

They come from all over the world, 24 different countries; 520 of them are there; 2,200 of them have gone back home.

The rooms are very clean. I notice that there are no Gideon Bibles in any of the rooms, but every room has a Koran. You know, American troops do not get U.S.-funded taxpayer Bibles overseas. But all these guests get taxpayer-funded Korans. And of course the staff that is there cannot touch these Korans.

Of course I am talking about Gitmo, the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention center. These people are prisoners of war and the guards that are there are doing an outstanding job.

Speaking of the Koran, the guards are not permitted to touch the Koran except under rare circumstances. And if they do, they have to wear linen gloves before they can move this Koran to a different cell.

The people that are there are there for two purposes. They are suspected terrorists that are going to be tried for war crimes, like killing people all over the world, many of whom are Americans. The others that are there are being interrogated, those suspected terrorists.

Now I observed those interrogations, Mr. Speaker. There are no abuses. There are no dogs. There is no abuse. The interrogations that took place, neither the interrogator nor the prisoner knew that we were observing. And numerous Members of Congress went this past week and observed these facilities.

One hundred fifty of these individuals have attorneys. Any prisoner that is there that wants an attorney is entitled to have one.

Two hundred of them have been released; in fact, maybe releasing some we should not release, because 12 of the ones that have been released have been either recaptured or killed on the battlefield. One is of particular note. When he was first arrested and captured as a terrorist he had a leg that was infected, so part of it was amputated. And he was fitted with a new prosthesis by American medical personnel. Later released and he was captured, recaptured on the battlefield, and of course he was still wearing that American prosthesis that taxpayers paid for.

These people do not work. You know, even in Texas we work our inmates. Today they are out picking cotton. But they are just there to be observed and to be housed. You know, one of these facilities meets American Corrections Association standards.

And these people, Mr. Speaker, are not nice. They spit on our guards. They throw urine and feces at our guards. And some of these people want to kill Americans.

The guards, Mr. Speaker, are first class. They are from all branches of the service. They have tremendous cooperation with each other, and