Guantánamo

Check it out SNL: Moana’s arrived at Guantánamo prison

Now Moana really is at Guantanamo

The Disney movie is now included in the library of books, videos and games available to some of the 41 war-on-terror detainees.
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The Disney movie is now included in the library of books, videos and games available to some of the 41 war-on-terror detainees.

In a “Saturday Night Live” skit earlier this year, a comic spoofing White House press secretary Sean Spicer sent Disney character Moana to Guantánamo Bay because of something U.S. intelligence read in her email.

Well, she’s arrived. A U.S. Army lieutenant told reporters recently that the Disney film has been added to the U.S. military’s 34,000-item collection of books, videos and games at the Detention Center library, available for circulation among some of the last 41 captives.

The Disney film, along with “Frozen,” “Big Hero 6” and seasons of the “Big Bang Theory” and “Modern Family” were all recently donated to the collection that sits in a prefabricated building housing the library stacks. Also recently added for the captives who have been held by the United States for a decade or more: A video game version of the National Hockey League.

cholesterol
A U.S. Army lieutenant in charge of the library for some detainees at the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, said on Friday, July 28, 2017 that this book was recently returned from circulating in the cellblocks of the prisoners, whose ages the warden estimated to be on average in the early 40s. The U.S. military approved this photo for release. CAROL ROSENBERG crosenberg@miamiherald.com

Items recently returned from the cellblocks included a three-DVD set of “How I Met Your Mother,” a March 2017 National Geographic magazine devoted to Vikings, and a French-Arabic book about cholesterol, according to the lieutenant.

It’s more than six months into the Trump administration and, while the library contains books by former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, the lieutenant told reporters, there are none by or about Donald Trump.

Then-Marine Gen. John Kelly, as head of the U.S. Southern Command, stopped buying books and cut down on newspapers and other subscriptions for the library in September 2013, at a savings of $40,000, according to email obtained by the Miami Herald. Kelly, recently chosen by Trump to be White House chief of staff, informed the Obama White House and Pentagon that it would be up to the International Committee of the Red Cross or other nongovernmental organizations to fund new acquisitions.

In other cost savings, the prison spokesman said Tuesday that a decision to stop publishing a prison newsletter — The Wire — had produced about $24,000 in savings for the detention center this year.

The military spent $132,000 in 2016 on the publication for the guards and other civilians specifically assigned to the prison staff, according to Navy Cmdr. John Robinson III, the detention center spokesman. This year’s cost was predicted to be $108,000 to print the weekly flier for the now 1,500 member staff. It had been produced by temporary Army National Guard public affairs teams dispatched to handle public affairs for detention operations since soon after Camp X-Ray opened Jan. 11, 2002.

At the library, the anonymous Army officer in charge told visiting reporters that now the ICRC, lawyers for the captives and a base recreational program for troops contribute to the stacks. None, however, have gifted the detainee library “The Art of the Deal.”

sunrise
Visitors on a media tour of the Detention Center Zone at the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, were permitted to take sunrise photos of a now vacant part of Camp Delta on Saturday, July 29, 2017. The U.S. military approved this photo for release. CAROL ROSENBERG crosenberg@miamiherald.com

Carol Rosenberg: 305-376-3179, @carolrosenberg

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