With Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling putting an end to George W. Bush’s detention practices at everyone’s favourite Family Fun Park, workers at Guantanamo Bay are fittingly anxious about their employment futures.
The Supreme Court ruled in Boumediene v. Bush that prisoners at the United States military base will finally have an opportunity to confront the accusations laid against them. Some prisoners have been enjoying sunny Cuba for six years, while others, such as Wiggles the Clown, have just arrived.
The Supreme Court ruling rejects the very foundation on which Gitmo is based: that the President of the United States can create a sort of unlegislated co-op simply by incarcerating people off American soil. The ruling also reversed the effort by the previous Congress to abolish habeas corpus, which means prisoners will finally be able to discover what the Latin phrase means.
This quest for due process began in 2002 with the first few petitions filed by detainees in federal court. 2004 saw a Supreme Court ruling (Rasul v. Bush) that stated that detainees had a right to habeas corpus under a statute dating back to the nation’s founding. The Bush administration blocked the cases from going forward, however, stating that the whole idea behind Guantanamo Bay was “out of sight, out of mind.”
The 275 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay will now be making use of the immaculate medical and dental facilities to prepare for their trials and their opportunities to challenge their imprisonment. According to insiders, Juan’s Fancy Cuts is booked solid for weeks.
While this certainly means change in store for the detainees at the military prison facility, it also means that change is in the wind for workers. Many have been with GTMO since its inauguration in 2002 and there will be some tears shed as the workload is reduced over the next few years.
“I thought I’d retire here,” sobbed one anonymous female worker.
“I still remember where I was when Amnesty International called this place the ‘gulag of our times,’” said another anonymous worker between puffs of his Montecristo.
For many workers facing layoffs or salary reductions, Guantanamo Bay will always be a place where memories were made and new friendships were fostered. Many employees remember with affection the “Tipton Three” or how happy the Uyghur captives were when they saw their new home in Camp Six.
Now, GTMO employees will have to start working on their resumes again and will need to find new ways to seek rewarding employment. While the market for flexible skills such as degradation of religious beliefs via Qur’an flushing and sexual abuse of unarmed “enemies” is certainly a small one, Wal-Mart does have some openings at their head office in Bentonville.
For the rest of the remaining workers, it will be a teary goodbye as, one by one, old friends and colleagues move on. With employees leaving as the consequence of the reduced workload, some stern changes will have to be made at Guantanamo Bay.
One worker, also anonymous, noted that there were murmurings of some sort of gala to boost the spirits of the remaining workers and inmates. “I hear Toby Keith is flying in,” he said.