Gitmo's still open, but at least the detainees have soccer and TV

The U.S.-run Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba, targeted for closure by Barack Obama during his campaign for the presidency, is instead quietly undergoing millions of dollars of upgrades that could allow it to remain open for years as a prison for suspected terrorists, NBC News has learned.

Among the recent improvements to the facility commonly known as “Gitmo”: a heavily guarded soccer field for detainees known as “Super Rec,” which cost nearly $750,000 and opened this week; cable television in a communal living quarters and “enriching your life” classes for detainees, which include instruction on learning to paint, writing a resume — even handling personal finances. …

Obama made its closure a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, arguing that U.S. courts were capable of handling the cases. After taking office, he signed an executive order on Jan. 22, 2009, directing that Gitmo be shut down within a year. The order also called for an immediate case-by case review of detainees at the facility with an eye toward either repatriating them or bringing them to trial in U.S. civilian courts.

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