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NGC Explorer: Inside Guantanamo

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by cwerdna, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

    Feb 22, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Let's not have this get into a political discussion (as I don't care for politics anyhow)...
    Overview of the episode at http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/explorer/4085/Overview. I haven't had a chance to look at the content on the site. It was done quite recently as it featured Obama signing the order to close Gitmo by end of year.

    I got around to watching this episode that got recorded on 4/12/09. It gave me a lot insight into what goes on there beyond the usual news coverage and the problems if they just let people go. Where do they go to? What will they do afterward? Will they join (or in some cases, rejoin) the Taliban, Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups after release?

    Not surprisingly, many of the soldiers featured are in their late teens, early 20s, right out of high school.

    I didn't know that the base had a McDonald's, Domino's Pizza, 7 churches, Subway, used car dealer, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and a chapter of the Bar Association.

    They weren't allowed to interview anyone incarcerated there but they interviewed a couple former detainees. It was interesting to hear how much (loud) talking was going on between the cells in Arabic that none of the guards understood. (The documentary had translated subtitles.) They showed some of the lower security areas but couldn't show this one high security zone.

    They also spoke to some lawyers who were assisting detainees trying to invoke habeas corpus.

    The prisoners apparently had a really good rapport with the Arabic speaking civilian librarian who himself is a devout Muslim. They had all sorts of books in addition to the Koran translated into many languages. It was interesting to see the level of respect w/which he treated copies of the Koran. He also was responsible for blacking out certain content in newspapers distributed to the prisoners.

    There was an unrelated incident where some prisoner smeared feces on his own face "as war paint" and the guards had to deal with this.

    At the end, they said that out of the >200 prisoners that still remain, 60 are cleared to go, but no country will accept them.

    It doesn't look like it'll be rerun in the next two weeks, but for those that receive NGC and are interested, set an ARWL. The DVD isn't for sale yet.
  2. Jolt

    Jolt Disgruntled Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    I thought it was a great show. Ive been to Gitmo several times and was surprised to find a Mc Donalds and such. They also use civillians from Cuba proper to work on the base. They go in and out of the gate at regular posted times.
  3. sieglinde

    sieglinde Active Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    Sebastopol, CA
    There was a librarian job open there at one time but I would have only taken it if I could visit Cuba and not be stuck on the base all the time. The base has existed for years before the establishment of the prison camp and therefore has all the normal aminities that a base would need. The librarian would have been serving the center library for the Sailors and Marines and their dependents not the prisoners. I suspect they brought in someone special for that. He could even be a foreign national.
  4. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

    Feb 22, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA
    To resurrect an ancient thread, I noticed awhile ago that this show is available for streaming on Netflix. It's a lot more in depth (due to available length) that the recent coverage 60 Minutes has had on Gitmo.

    Search for National Geographic: Inside Guantanamo.

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