Exclusive Look Inside Detention Camps at Guantanamo Bay Cuba - NBC 6 South Florida

Reestablishing connections with the island nation and its people

Exclusive Look Inside Detention Camps at Guantanamo Bay Cuba

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    Exclusive Look Inside Detention Camps at Guantanamo Bay Cuba

    Exclusive look inside the detention camps at Guantanamo Bay Cuba as the debate rages on: What should happen to who some call the world's most dangerous men? (Published Friday, Feb. 5, 2016)

    NBC 6 received an exclusive look inside the detention camps at Guantanamo Bay Cuba as the debate rages on: What should happen to, who some call, the world's most dangerous men?

    Soon, alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will return to a courtroom, putting the focus on him and others held there.

    Bomb-makers, terrorist trainers and body guards to Osama bin Laden. That's how the United States Government describes the men being held at Guantanamo Bay Cuba.

    NBC 6 cameras captured the detainees talking, gesturing and getting water from guards during an afternoon meal. Those whose job it is to guard them say there is always danger.

    "We can't forget that the detainees that are here, at one point, had for their objective kill Americans and given the opportunity, they would continue to do so," said Rear Admiral Peter J. Clark, Commander Joint Task Force at Gitmo.

    "Certain detainees will collect and store bodily fluids: urine, feces, vomit, and if they can get that opportunity to throw that on a guard, they will," said Col. David Heath, Joint Detention Group Commander.

    There are about 2,000 members of the Joint Task Force; men and women assigned to watch these detainees around the clock. The number assigned to Gitmo has stayed the same in the last decade, but the number of detainees has dropped to 91.

    Their days are spent in cells, at a cost to taxpayers at nearly $400 million a year. President Obama has called for Guantanamo Bay to be closed since he came into office. Protesters recently rallied against it in Doral and want it shut down as well.

    But there are those who argue they don't want detainees on U.S. soil, and worry that if released, they could attack Americans.

    One man who spoke with NBC 6, originally from Jordan who now works as a conduit between detainees and guards, said many of those approved for release now speak English. But he can't answer whether they will return to fighting against the U.S.

    "When they first came here, they had a certain picture about America and Americans. Now they've lived with us, their views have changed. I'm not discussing the point, are they going to go back to the fight or not? No one can guess that," he said. "We have seen that change."

    Commander Clark knows the possibility exists that Gitmo could close, and said the troops will continue to do their duty until a decision is made.

    "There is a lot of uncertainty the remainder of this year and moving forward. We are preparing. We are looking ahead at what the feasibility would be of doing any of the available options," Clark said.

    Alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and the others charged with plotting 9/11, aren't going anywhere but from their classified location in the camps to court this month. They could get the death penalty.

    For 47 others not charged or slated for release, and for the more than 30 detainees with basically no place agreeing to accept them, for now Gitmo is home.

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