What a Top Ten

FromWaPo’a Al Kamen

The Pentagon successfully avoided being on David Letterman’s Top Ten list for many years. So this week Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ‘s speechwriters tried to help, sending out “Ten Facts About Guantanamo” to highlight what a nice place it is.


Fact No. 8, probably one of the most important, notes that, contrary to what you might have heard, the prisoners actually really want to be in Guantanamo. “The mother of a detainee stated: ‘Of course they wanted to stay there. . . . They had human rights and good living standards there. They had dentists and good meals — everything they wanted.’ ” Turns out, this quote from a March 2004 edition of the London Times was a Russian mother comparing Guantanamo with Russian jails.

There was “Arabic language TV,” a large library with books in 13 languages. “The most requested book is ‘Harry Potter,’ ” we’re told.

And Fact No. 10. “In 2005, Amnesty International stated that ‘the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has become the gulag of our times.’ “

This last fact was intended as a shot at Amnesty for comparing a veritable five-star hotel with the infamous Soviet labor camps. After all, the commies never gave away high-tops.

We’re told some Pentagon folks balked at putting the list up on the Pentagon Web site, but an updated version — minus the Russian mother quote — is up there now at http://www.defenselink.mil/home/dodupdate .