50 Detainees now at Gitmo; All Treated Humanely
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2002 With the arrival of 30 detainees there are now 50 Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists under guard at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The detainees are now at the holding facility at Camp X- Ray. Military policemen from Fort Campbell, Ky., and McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., are guarding the detainees. A DoD spokesman said that before the troops arrived in Cuba, they received special training in handling the Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists. The troops are among the 850 military personnel assigned to Joint Task Force 160.
The Guantanamo facility is preparing to receive up to 2,000 detainees.
Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clarke stressed that detainees are being treated humanely, are receiving "culturally appropriate" meals, daily showers and daily exercise. They can receive medical treatment if needed. Officials from the International Committee of the Red Cross will visit the facility and the detainees soon.
Clarke said one detainee in the first lift to Guantanamo was sedated, not to control him, but for medical reasons. "He was sedated due to pain from an injury he had," she said. "That detainee had a gunshot wound to the upper arm. There was surgical treatment done on him on (Jan. 13). The doctors estimate the wound was about a month old."
Officials said 433 detainees are under U.S. control in Afghanistan and are being interrogated there. DoD is using information gleaned from the interrogations and from Al Qaeda and Taliban materials to thwart other terrorist attacks.
Clarke said U.S. aircraft flew 113 sorties over Afghanistan Jan. 14. There were no air strikes. Commando Solo radio missions continue over the country.
She addressed reports of U.S. personnel in the Philippines. "We have a long-standing relationship with the Philippines, a long-standing military-to-military relationship ," she said. "We are working closely with the government of the Philippines, as we are with many countries and many government officials in the war on terrorism. There will be different kinds of activities with (the Philippine government), as there will be with others around the world."