Leaving no doubt that the Department of Defense intends to be in the Guantánamo detention business long after President Barack Obama leaves office, the Navy is seeking prosthetic services for five detainees with lost limbs for at least five years.
“Due to the unique patient population and detention environment, it is critical that the prosthetic devices manufactured have the least chance of being weaponized,” according to the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery notice dated Aug. 14.
The notice said that there is a preferred candidate, New Jersey firm Johnson Associates Systems, which, according to its website, also provides Veterans Administration labs with prosthetic services.
It is critical that the prosthetic devices manufactured have the least chance of being weaponized.
Navy contract solicitation
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The notice said the “estimated period of performance is for 60 months,” starting in January “followed by four one-year options.” Work required for the remote base would cover a minimum of two weeks a year and a maximum of six, according to the solicitation.
The solicitation makes no reference to the possibility that some prisoners could be moved to the United States, and therefore does not specify whether the contract would continue under such circumstances, or whether the awarded price would change.
Some captives lost limbs before being taken to Guantánamo. Alleged 9/11 conspirator Walid bin Attash, 37, lost a leg in battle in Afghanistan in 1997 and got to Guantánamo in 2006. He has had his prosthetic limb has been detached during pretrial hearings in his death-penalty case.
Other detainees underwent amputations at Guantánamo months after their arrival in 2002. Navy medical teams concluded these were lifesaving surgeries and removed legs from at least two captives, a finger from another and the eye of a 21-year-old prisoner who doctors said at the time was left blinded years earlier, suffering chronic headaches, after a whack from a cricket ball in Southwest Asia.
5 of the prison’s 116 detainees need prosthetic services
The notice went up the same week a Pentagon team visited the Army’s prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in a survey of where Guantánamo captives could be moved to accomplish Obama’s order to close the detention center in southeast Cuba. This week, the team visited the Navy brig near Charleston, South Carolina, despite resistance from the senators and governor there.
The notice made clear that there are five detainees with missing limbs among the 116 captives at the detention center.
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