Barack Obama is president now and unless you've been living sans internet connection, ears, eyes, and human DNA for the last week you know that one of the first orders of business—much to the chagrin of rightward leaning fear mongers—was the announcement to shut down the Guantanamo Bay military prison, as well as other CIA black ops-cum-torture operations around the globe. This brings up an interesting story because obesity, fast food crash diets, bad sandwiches, and the Bush administration's indefinite suspension of habeas corpus in the name of national security are really what we're all about these days. That’s not a wild generalization I’m making about America; it is truth. Read on and find out how I know this.
A childhood friend was a Marine stationed at GitMo from 2002 to 2004, and more so than ever, that was quite a time in history to be stationed there and here's why:
The US military has a contract with Subway so there is a sandwich shop on various US bases stretching from the halls of Montezuma all the way to the shores of Tripoli and various posts in between. They had one at GitMo and probably still will for a little while longer. The Subway club and oily tunafish offer thin slices of home for our boys stationed abroad.
By Congressional mandate only the Army was allowed to have any direct contact with the Taliban captives although our man on the inside told me otherwise [ed. note: shhhhhh!]. The Marines are all fresh out of having been worked over by an ornery Paris Island drill sergeant. When they aren't busy running the camp they bide their time shooting the shit, hanging out and BBQ'ing, and doing whatever it is you do with your down time while working at a controversial military prison guarding the alleged masterminds behind 9/11 and other global atrocities.
Despite what the average uninformed lefty would tell you the United States does treat their soldiers quite well. To boost morale, the guys in 'Nam got a full-on show out of Nancy Sinatra, and still these days the Military Industrial Complex is sparing no expense. Not content with just a Subway location on every base the US government sent Jared Fogle—the guy who went from obesity to that droopy stretched out former fat guy skinny guy body that you get when you drop several hundred pounds—to rally our men and women stationed at GitMo charged with handling the day-to-day tasks of guarding potential terror suspects and political prisoners and pawns and other people that were picked up inadvertently in the sweep.
Don't get me wrong, Jared's story is inspiring. Lord knows I'm having trouble dropping the 15 to 20 I wanna get rid of. But one has to question the wisdom of giving a base full of hardened marine recruits recently trained in 25 ways to kill a man with their bare hands a pep talk by a guy whose life story is a little more than a tale of gluttony, sloth, and eventual redemption by way of a fast food sandwich chain. To paraphrase one GitMo veteran's offhanded reaction: With role models like that it's no wonder they're not lining up around the block to have our values foisted upon them.
Anyways, there’s your tax dollars hard at work.