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My Husband Went to Gitmo and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt

In light of Thursday's Supreme Court ruling on detainees at Guantanamo Bay, we thought it would be a good time to disclose the "presents" we received last week from the gift shop at Gitmo.

T-shirt fromt the Guantanamo Bay gift shop. (Photo: Emma Patti, Model: Christine Stoddard)

The Sleuth's husband, a reporter who went to Guantanamo last week to cover the arraignment of five 9/11 suspects, brought back not one but three surprises: a Guantanamo Bay windbreaker, a baseball cap and a t-shirt. (Honey, you shouldn't have!)

Yes, the Gitmo Naval base actually sells t-shirts, caps and other souvenirs advertising its detainee operations. And apparently, military base officials were thrilled to have reporters buying up goodies at the gift shop for their loved ones back home.

The t-shirt is the most gung-ho of the souvenirs about boasting the base's detainee operations, the future of which, thanks to the Supreme Court, is now in question.

The left breast of the front of the shirt is emblazoned with the words "Operation Enduring Freedom" and "JTF," which stands for Joint Task Force. The back of the shirt, in large lettering, says "JTF GTMO" and in slightly smaller font below it, "DETAINEE OPERATIONS, U.S. NAVAL STATION, GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA."

We wondered how much business the Gitmo gift shop does each year and whether the gift shop would continue even if the base's detainee operations are shut down. So we inquired.

Baseball cap from the Guantanamo Bay gift shop. (Photo: Emma Patti, Model: Christine Stoddard)

Commander Pauline Storum, director of public affairs for the JTF at Guantanamo, replied, "It's important to note that the Joint Task Force is only a tenant command of Naval Station Guantanamo, the Navy's oldest overseas station. The Naval Station operates a host of facilities here at Guantanamo -- including the gift shop. Any comments about the future of the Naval Station and its facilities would be more appropriately addressed to Naval Station public affairs." She also provided a link to the base's Web site.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  June 12, 2008; 6:32 PM ET
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Next: John Kennedy, a Politician By Any Other Name


Now that the Supreme Court has annexed Gitmo, does it get a congressman?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

You didn't see the other souvenirs: a stuffed iguana and a baby-sized t-shirt that reads "future behavior modification expert."

Sadly, I'm not making this up.

Posted by: Nicholas | June 12, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

While I AGREE with today's majority opinion that "all enemy combatants detained during a war, at least insofar as they are confined in an area away from the battlefield, [but] over which the United States exercises 'absolute and indefinite' control, may seek a writ of habeas corpus in federal court," I also AGREE with Chief Justice Roberts (and his fellow dissenters) that the Writ can be suspended in time of war, such as the war on terror that we find ourselves involved in right now, and that suspension power belongs to Congress, such as Congress has exercised in this case, "as the Constitution surely allows Congress to [wield]."

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | June 12, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Have you seen the Abu Ghraib panties? Do they sell those hooded hats? He's always wanted one of those secret undisclosed location jock straps. Or Bush's rape room rain gear. It's not just any authoritarian cage, it's America's rape room.

Next is Father's Day With Larry Craig Day at Gitmo. Mohammed said he particularly took issue with a society that allows "same-sexual marriage" and other things that "are very bad." Bush was ready to give him the presidential medal of freedom.

Mohammed appeared to have equal disdain for the process, but he only briefly mentioned his "torturing" at the hands of U.S. officials, something he acknowledged he was warned not to mention in open court, lest a security official hit a button muting the audio to observers in the courtroom and at a media center nearby. That button was pushed at least a few times on Thursday when detainees appeared to discuss elements of their early captivity in secret facilities or the way they were treated. "All of this has been taken under torturing," Mohammed said. "Then after torturing they transfer us to Inquisition Land here at Guantanamo and you tell everyone to sit down, sit down."

Such a strange event, this trial at Guantanamo Bay, notes Achenblog. It's great theater, and questionable law. The detainees are kept in solitary confinement and then, if they mention being tortured, someone hits a button and the sound is muted.

Even in the movie Escape from Guantanamo Bay they didn't stoop to such absurdity.

4 out of 5 of the taxi drivers in there admit to having shot J.R.

What Would Jesus Do?

Posted by: Singing Senator | June 12, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

The begin of the end of the terror war. The supreme court realized that there is no way to win the terror war under the current model adopted by "bushed" Bush. The model must be ended for the sake of the moral power, if any, of the Unites States.

Bush may get away with this ruling. Just hire Cubans to manage the GITMO.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, considering who they have there, I hope they're miserable...

I want one of those shirts.

Posted by: Nym | June 13, 2008 2:08 AM | Report abuse




Posted by: TIM | June 13, 2008 2:27 AM | Report abuse

We are truly a society of lemmings
What actually is the definition of an enemy combatant, I can't believe anyone with an iota of intelligence, believes that all the people in Guantanamo Bay are really enemy combatants??? What is an enemy combatant?
Why haven't we released the detainees that have been cleared?
No human should ever be held in a prison who is not guilty of any crime that fits the punishment.
If anyone should be in jail it should be George W Bush and his cronies.

Posted by: Keith | June 13, 2008 5:36 AM | Report abuse

Dear KYJurisDoctor:

The United States has not operated under a declaration of war at any time since 1945. So the idea that the current militarization of the Middle East is in any way a war under law is absurd.

Posted by: SalHepatica | June 13, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Ah yes, the undeclared "War" on terror. We have had, in my lifetime, the great war (declared by congress as required by the Constitution), the "police action" in Korea, "supporting the government and fighting communism" in Vietnam (The Tonkin resolution et. al.), Bosnia, and the current fiasco in Iraq. This does not count the "war on poverty" and numerous other undeclared actions. When will the public understand the Constitution that only Congress can declare "war"? The Supremes made the correct decision.

Posted by: north dakota | June 13, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I am a little disappointed to see that the tee shirts are black. I was expecting something in a more feloneous shade of orange. Perhaps that is a missed marketing opportunity that can be remedied.

Pity the Slueth did not include a link to the Gitmo gift shop.

Posted by: johnste3 | June 13, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Wow. And we wonder why the world hates us...

Posted by: Clint | June 13, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"Considering who they have there..." Wow! I guess those kids who've been there since they were 12 years old were real threats to the US.

It's rather well established that the majority of detainees have never been charged with or convicted of any crime, and many of them were fingered by questionable sources.

How did the US - supposedly a nation full of Christians - come to the conclusion that torture, detainment without recourse to legal counsel, mistreatment of unconvicted human beings, and violence are morally acceptable? Anyone who wants one of those t-shirts has to be a real sicko. Would Jesus be all thrilled to own one of those Gitmo items?

Posted by: LeeAnnG | June 13, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Who would Jesus waterboard?

Posted by: Anne Hayes | June 13, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

it's all a big joke for you, isn't it. oooohh, just think how you'll be able to impress your friends with gitmo gear. then you can regale them with stories your hubby picked up of rape, torture, forced feedings, sexual humiliation.

yep, keepin' it classy.

Posted by: linda | June 13, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Is it okay now to wear my Auschwitz t-shirt, my Treblinka tie tack, my Bergen-Belsen windbreaker and my Buchenwald thong?

Please say yes.

Posted by: Tom | June 13, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

"Considering who they have there..."????

Since the Bush govt has consistently opposed any effort at independent judicial review, has given little specific information about detainees, and has provided the public with false information in the past, how in the world would Nym KNOW "who they have there"? Answer: Nym doesn't know and doesn't care...content, instead, to accept the generalizations and doublespeak of a proven unreliable source (ie, the Bush administration), Nym could be justifying the detention of ANYONE, innocent or not.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | June 13, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I think that we should bring the detainees to the United States so that can be close to thier ambulance chasers. Since they have not been charged, we could puy them up in nice little bungalos in San Francisco with instructions to come to court when invited. Since everyone in the country has the right of a free education, the taxpayers should finance them at Cal Berkley. Now there will be peace in the world.

Posted by: Skeeter | June 13, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

How do you fight terrorists in a "law and order" way? You don't.

Posted by: BeamMeUp | June 16, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

'songbird McCain is humble (RIGHT) Ask the vietnam vets against McCain? John met Cindy in '79 and divorced his wife in '80. Real Honorable. His wife was crippled in an accident after she stood by McCain all the time he was a POW, but a younger million heiress proved to be more advantageous to the honorable McCain. Google Songbird McCain and see how really honorable he is.

Posted by: No dishonorable McCain | June 16, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Vengeance is mine, sayest King George!

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

This is the 'oath' that our 'self proclaimed' 'Christian' swore to ,on HIS bible!

"I don't give a goddamn," Bush retorted. "I'm the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way."

"Mr. President," one aide in the meeting said. "There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution."

"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"

Posted by: Bob Egan | June 16, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

torture is as american as naplm

Posted by: massimo | June 16, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Club Gitmo has better gear.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 16, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Foxas | June 16, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

The Slueth has a husband?????

Posted by: Anonymous | June 16, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

But who do you think should be picked as VP running mate?
Go to and see what America thinks
2008 Presidential Election Weekly VP Poll.

Posted by: ulwatu | June 17, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Um, KYJurisDoctor, you do realize that calling something a "war" in the press, like the "war on terror," doesn't actually mean that it meets the legal definition of a war, right? (P.S. nice try with the nickname, but as a lawyer myself I don't buy it.)

Posted by: nas | June 17, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Torture is as American as napalm.

Posted by: massimo | June 17, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Linda and Clint......Why the world hates us (and our 'sleuth'-sayers) who trivialize our constitution, our treatment of people we are not at all sure of being guilty and our commercialization of every despicable act!

Posted by: Alison Stone | June 17, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

To KY Juris Doctor (who wrote this):

While I AGREE with today's majority opinion that "all enemy combatants detained during a war, at least insofar as they are confined in an area away from the battlefield, [but] over which the United States exercises 'absolute and indefinite' control, may seek a writ of habeas corpus in federal court," I also AGREE with Chief Justice Roberts (and his fellow dissenters) that the Writ can be suspended in time of war, such as the war on terror that we find ourselves involved in right now, and that suspension power belongs to Congress, such as Congress has exercised in this case, "as the Constitution surely allows Congress to [wield]."

Please tell me this: When did Congress declare war (as is their sole province per Article I of the Constitution, and how is it possible to declare war on a tactic?

Posted by: FL JurisDoctor | June 17, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Next time a dictator decides to bomb a little country called Kuwait, call ghost busters.
Next time Muslims are persecuted in Bosnia,
call ghost busters.
Next time a dictator decides to gas a couple thousand of its own people, call ghost busters.
Next time the U.S. is attacked, call ghost busters.
Next time you want to prevent a disaster or another terrorist attack, call the psy chic hotline.
Next time you need to build a prison -- refinish your basements!! We finance.
Next time you see a guy with a funny little mustache installing massive ovens that don't cook any pizza--call ghost busters -- and don't forget your mitts!
Well, never mind. There might not be a next time!

Posted by: ghost busters & psy chic hotline | June 21, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

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