In a sentence: Guantanamo has a big vacancy sign out front since so many suspects have been released to their respective nations where many of them have been released only to commit mayhem. At least 7 ex-detainees have returned to terror and murder. But the conditions are not as bad as they have been depicted by a Bush-bashing press.
Only the Wall Street Journal and now (surprisingly) the Economist Magazine have dared to depart from liberal attack positions and portray a Guantanamo that is wildly different from the Democrat's Dantesque portrayal. To wit:
“Compliant” detainees—those who obey the camp rules—are housed in Camp 4, where they enjoy special privileges, including the right to mingle together and exercise for 12 hours a day. They have access to a library of more than 5,000 books in 19 different languages; can watch videos and play sports such as volley-ball, pingpong and football; and can even get extra loo paper, on request. Unlike their more unruly colleagues, they are also provided with a mattress, sheets, a prayer rug, earplugs and underwear. Most detainees now have access to a lawyer.
Indeed, a checklist drawn up by the JTF, comparing a prisoner-of-war's 25 basic rights under the Geneva Conventions with those of an alleged “enemy combatant” in Guantánamo, finds few big differences. The Guantánamo detainees generally have less freedom of movement, have all their correspondence screened, are not allowed to keep any personal belongings and, if charged, will be tried before a special military commission rather than a regular court-martial.
But unlike ordinary POWs, many are released before the end of hostilities; well over half Guantánamo's 778 detainees have already returned home. Furthermore, although the detainees may be asked any question, they “aren't required to answer”, the JTF insists. Nor are they penalised for staying silent.
I suppose the New York Times just didn't have space to run an article about the changed conditions at Guantanamo although the paper devoted numerous columns to allegations depicting the prison as a torture den. One article would not follow the narrative that has become a staple of agitprop within America and outside of America.