DRUNKS RIDE FREE: Prison camp guards or other service members who overindulge at bars and parties here need no longer risk driving drunk on this 45-square-mile base with its own traffic court -- and a no-nonsense military police force staffed by Navy cops called masters at arms.
''The Wire,'' the detention center's weekly newsletter, featured an insert this week offering ''Safe Ride Service,'' and a drawing of a Yellow cab against a backdrop of skyscrapers unseen in this isolated slice of southeast Cuba.
''If you feel you are too intoxicated and cannot make it home, just let the nearest bartender know,'' it advises.
PASHTO SI, ENGLISH NO: A total of four detainees are studying Pashto and another four are studying Arabic but detention center commanders have not yet started English lessons for the best of the best -- or the detainees dubbed ''the most compliant'' in a communal portion of the prison here, called Camp Four.
In May, then commander Rear Adm. Harry Harris ordered a reversal in a five-year policy and said the military would allow particularly well behaved captives to learn English in the camp where about 50 captives currently are held.
Earlier camp commanders had spurned the idea on security grounds, saying English lessons might help captives eavesdrop on guard conversations in the prison camps where the current commander, Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, says the population includes ''all the elements that make up a full-blown al Qaeda cell'' -- leaders, organizers and foot soldiers.
Now the issue, escorts said on a recent tour, is not whether to teach English -- but how and what to teach, and who to hire to do it.
A civilian contractor currently teaches the Pashto and Arabic classes in a Camp 4 bunkhouse where detainees/pupils have their ankles shackled to the floor in padded cuffs at smooth stainless steel desks.
Nearby in the compound, there was little sign of life in a series of garden beds encircled by cinder blocks and dubbed the ''ICRC Gardens'' -- for the International Committee of the Red Cross, which donated the seeds.
Only a few sprouts were peeking through the mud in the specially constructed area where mostly Afghan captives once tended to a prospective vegetable garden.
A Navy guard offered the opinion that detainees lost interest in the project, which was created as a distraction, once it drew media interest.
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: A Monday story said that some of the 320 captives at Guantánamo are still teenagers. The military says all the boys brought to the detention center have either been sent home or grown into adulthood behind the razor wire. Chief among them is Khadr, who was captured in Afghanistan at 15, moved to southeast Cuba after his 16th birthday -- and turned 21 two months ago. He faces arraignment Thursday on charges of murder, spying and providing material support to terrorism.