The military spent $744,000 on “quality of life improvements” for cooperative captives being held in Guantanamo Bay by building a new soccer field for the prison that candidate Barack Obama promised to close when he was running for office of president of the United States.
The field as of yet does not have goals but it does have two guard towers, lights and surveillance cameras outside of building Camp 6 where the Pentagon imprisons about 120 of the 171 captives being held at Gitmo.
News photography was forbidden for security reasons, said Navy Cmdr. Tamsen Reese, prison camps spokeswoman, whose public relations team released Pentagon-approved photos of the 28,000-square-foot field.
The showcase soccer field, half the size of an American football field, is being built by Burns and Roe Services Corp., said a Pentagon spokesman, Army Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale. It should open in April, as the third recreation yard at Guantanamo’s main prison camp complex, a year after construction began on what is currently the largest expansion under way at the decade-old detention center.
The Obama administration estimates that it spends $800,000 a year per captive on basic operating costs for the detention center, whose staff numbers 1,850 government employees from contractors to guards.
When it was suggested that the price tag was excessive, Reese replied that this base’s remote location at times doubles construction costs.