In 2015, The Onion, a satirical news source, sarcastically wrote that Guantanamo Bay was constructing a geriatric care wing for their aging detainees. The Onion wrote that Brigadier General Marion Garcia reported “As our detainees’ needs change, so will our facility.”
At the end of April 2019, the Onion’s satire came true. The New York Times reported that as the terrorism suspects at Guantanamo age, the Pentagon has begun planning for hospice care at the facility.
Guantanamo Bay was established in 2002 during Bush’s War on Terror. During Obama’s presidency, he hoped to shut down the facility, which is considered controversial due to its policy of detaining prisoners indefinitely with no trial. The Trump administration is committed to keeping Guantanamo Bay open and commanders were told to make plans for the facility through 2043. By then, the oldest prisoner will be 96 if he remains alive. The health of the prisoners is already precarious due to the torture they have endured.
“Unless America’s policy changes, at some point we’ll be doing some sort of end of life care here,” the commander of the detention center, Rear Adm. John C. Ring, said. He continued, “A lot of my guys are prediabetic,” Admiral Ring said. “Am I going to need dialysis down here? I don’t know. Someone’s got to tell me that. Are we going to do complex cancer care down here? I don’t know. Someone’s got to tell me that.”
Detainees are already suffering from conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and joint pain. Many prisoners already use canes and wheelchairs.
The Pentagon wants $88.5 million to build a prison with hospice care capacities.