Friday, September 29, 2006

CLAUDIA ROSETT writes upon her return from a one-day visit to Guantanamo:

Detainee salad

I’ve just returned from a one-day press trip to Guantanamo Bay, on which there will be more to say. But an observation while digesting the experience —

Only in America would you find authorities trying to cope with terrorist detainees by over-feeding them. We of the media were served the same halal meal as that offered to the detainees, which meant a lunch including — this is only a partial list — spiced meat patty, egg salad, tuna, yogurt, fresh dates, freshly baked bread, juice, and a down-home Middle Eastern dessert, which left us licking from our fingers the honey and nuts of the same baklava we were told is served to Hambali, Abu Zubaydah, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the rest of the gang. Of course, this being Ramadan, the detainees have the option of dining on a different schedule, fasting by day and tucking into the baklava at night. All told, they are offered a menu that provides 4,200 calories per day — more than the 3,800 allotted for a U.S. combat soldier in Iraq.

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