But there are only two ways they could arrive - by a "Con-Air"-style flight onto the lone working landing strip or by military vessel into the port. These are features that no doubt led Rumsfeld to declare it "the least worst" option to planners seeking a detention center outside of Afghanistan.
Moreover, Lehnert said there had been no formal protest from Cuba over the plan - and used the media opportunity Wednesday to send a clear message to the Castro government.
"This force here that we brought does not pose any threat whatsoever to Cuba, the government of Cuba or the people of Cuba, " he said, reading from carefully crafted language to reply to a reporter's question.
This base, sprawling across 45 square miles on Cuba's southeastern tip, has for years been a sore spot between the United States and the Castro regime, which declared null and void a series of earlier leases and agreements dating back to Teddy Roosevelt's time. Castro has consistently called the U.S. presence here an illegal occupation, and refused to cash the checks the United States cut annually to make good on a lease agreement.
Cuban concerns aside, the command staff at Guantanamo is pursuing a three-stage blueprint for detention of of the new prisoners. Wednesday, the first stage was complete: the cage-like cells that could accommodate up to 100 prisoners, according to the general, with short-term plans to expand the compound to 220 cells.
It is on a remote section of the U.S.-controlled territory, less than a half-mile from suburban-style family housing for base officers along Nob Hill Road.
Soon, a Navy engineering unit of Seabees will start construction on a more permanent, walled facility on a section of Gitmo called Radar Range. Working with civilian contractors, they will complete 400 to 500 indoor cells for the prisoners within 60 days, Lehnert said.
Then later, the Joint Task Force will add more buildings to accommodate up to 2,000 high-security prisoners - an inexplicably large number, considering that by Wednesday reports from the region showed only 364 Afghan, Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners held by U.S. forces.