[This is Part Two of my exclusive interview with “Stashiu,” an Army nurse who worked at Guantánamo, and who spoke on a regular basis with detainees with psychological and/or behavioral problems. Part One was published yesterday and can be accessed here. In today’s entry, Stashiu talks about his arrival at GTMO, and discusses the true nature of the detainees who are being held there.]
Stashiu Arrives At GTMO
Stashiu has been in the U.S. Army for 23 years, and is due to retire soon. Since September 11, he has been trying to get deployed to help fight the war on terror. After all, the reason he had joined was to be deployed. He was on the list to go to Iraq, but had been retained by his boss stateside for a long period of time because his boss liked his work and wanted to keep him around. His first chance at a deployment came with his assignment to Guantánamo. Finally, Stashiu was getting his wish, and he was excited.
Stashiu arrived at Guantánamo aboard a plane operated by Delta Airlines. Although military aircraft fly into and out of GTMO, the military also uses Delta to ferry passengers to and from Guantánamo Bay.
When you come in to Guantánamo Bay, Stashiu told me, you realize right away that you are entering a Communist country. Security is handled by military personnel, but there is a level of tension far different from that present at other places Stashiu has traveled to. It reminded him that Castro’s Cuba lay just around the corner — a malevolent place where the dying dictator has tortured and killed too many to count.
The facility is, as advertised, on Guantánamo Bay. Incoming personnel arrive at an air strip located on the leeward side, and take a ferry across the bay to the windward side where the detention facility is located.
As he approached the Guantánamo facility’s Camp Delta along Skyline Drive, one of the windy roads on the way to the camp from the ferry, Stashiu felt the scene seemed surreal. He knew he was about to take part in a historical set of events, and he was excited.
For reasons of operational security, Stashiu could tell me little about the physical layout of Guantánamo. When I asked, he said that there is
[o]ne large area called “The Wire” which houses Camps 1-4. Camp 5 is a separate facility modeled on a supermax. Camp 6 is under construction and will be similar to Camp 5. Those are the main detainee areas. There are some other areas that fall under Joint Task Force-One large area called “The Wire” which houses Camps 1-4. Camp 5 is a separate facility modeled on a supermax. Camp 6 is under construction and will be similar to Camp 5. Those are the main detainee areas. All of this is public knowledge.
That’s about as far as Stashiu was willing to go, but — in an ironic nod to the paranoid lefties — he did take care to say that there are “no super-secret torture chambers.”
Speaking with Terrorists Daily
Stashiu’s title was Division Officer for Behavioral Health Services, which meant he spent hours talking to terrorists about what makes them tick. He shares these insights with you in this post.