GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba — As public cries to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, grow louder amidst the most recent hunger strike being waged by the facility’s inmates, those prisoners not partaking in the highly-publicized protest are reporting that they are eating better than ever.
Swept up in a dragnet of 20-somerthing males along the Afghan-Pakistani border in the autumn of 2001 despite having no terrorist ties, Sharif al-Hubar is not partaking in the demonstration being made by over half of his fellow inmates. He is, however, feeling its effects. “To be honest, I’m not as hardcore as some of these guys, and I was worried about being alienated – being seen as soft – if I didn’t go on strike. But fortunately they’ve all been whisked away to medical facilities because most of them weigh less than a hundred pounds. I really have the rule of the roost over here.”
The last few weeks have been the highlight of al-Hubar’s twelve-year stretch in the quasi-legal gulag. Among the perks are seconds – sometimes even thirds – at meal time, ample hot water in the shower room, and no one yelling at him when he switches the channel on the rec room TV from al-Jazeera to re-runs of “Two & a Half Men.”
“Hey, it’s not all smooth sailing. I’d rather be waterboarded again than eat what passes for creamed corn around here three times a week. Also, I’ve given up hope of ever seeing the light of day as a free man. But you know what they say: prisoners-in-a-Kafkaeasque-nightmare-of-indefinite-detention-who-are-unlikely-to get-a fair-trial-or-see-loved-ones-ever-again can’t be choosers.”
At a White House press conference, President Obama addressed the hunger strike and the increasing public concern. “Though we all thought Gitmo was a well-conceived, morally airtight endeavor that had a clear endgame which would be realized in a short amount of time, somehow – incredibly – things got off track. All we can hope for now is that the prisoners there will die in relative anonymity so we really don’t have to put any thought whatsoever into what to do with them or what the existence of this place says about us as a nation.”
When asked for comment, inmate and hunger striker Salaman bin Warzi was unable to comment as he was having a feeding tube jammed up his nose and snaked into his stomach in order to have an Ensure energy drink dripped into him.