From American Thinker:
February 29, 2012
New $750 grand soccer field for Gitmo terrorists
By Rick Moran
They’re cutting military pensions and health benefits but the Pentagon found $750,000 for a new soccer field at Guantanamo for the terrorist detainees.
At a time of record deficits, a new soccer field for detainees at Camp 6 in Guantanamo Bay is just getting the finishing touches — at a cost of $750,000 to taxpayers.
The project was the highlight of a tour Tuesday of the detention camp for reporters at the facility covering the arraignment in a military court of Majid Khan, a former Baltimore resident and the the only legal U.S. resident on trial at Guantanamo.
The project began in April 2011 and is due to finish this spring. The detainees will now have three recreation facilities at Camp 6, which is home to “highly compliant” detainees who live in a communal setting.
In addition to an indoor recreation field and the existing outdoor recreation field, the new soccer field — selected because it is such a popular sport with detainees — is half the size of an American football field.
The new field has been specially constructed so that the detainees “have maximum access” — about 20 hours a day. Special passageways allow the detainees to pass into the new recreation yard without being escorted by the military.
On the tour, a military police representative who asked not to be identified by name said allowing high levels of activity outdoors helped reduce behavioral problems at the camps, and it also limited the amount of interaction between detainees and the guards.
I am very happy for the terrorists. Have there ever been prisoners treated in such a grand manner? These guys were living in hovels and mud huts before their capture. Now they’ve got 3 squares and a bed, a soccer field, a big library — stuff they never dreamed of possessing back home. Not to mention a government lawyer provided free of charge.
Something is wrong with this picture.
Budget request includes TRICARE cut, military retirement details
February 13, 2012
President Obama proposed new TRICARE co-pays and fees, as well as a review of military retirement benefits, in his fiscal 2013 budget unveiled Monday.
The administration provided new details on Defense Department personnel cuts first proposed in January.
The budget includes new TRICARE co-pays, additional increases to TRICARE Prime enrollment fees, initiation of standard and extra annual enrollment fees, and adjustments to deductibles and catastrophic coverage caps.
The budget proposal also modifies pharmacy co-pays to encourage the use of less expensive mail-order and military treatment facility pharmacies, and includes modest annual fees for Medicare-covered beneficiaries older than 65 (TRICARE for Life).
The administration said these changes would save Defense an estimated $12.9 billion in discretionary funding and $4.7 billion in mandatory savings on Medicare-eligible retiree health care over the next five years. It is projected to save the department $12.1 billion over the next 10 years.
Defense implemented TRICARE Prime fee increases for new retiree enrollees beginning in fiscal 2012; under the 2013 proposal, the fees would be phased in based on annual retirement pay.
The TRICARE fee increases mean that military retirees in upper-income tiers would see their health care contributions nearly quadruple over the next five years, Defense Comptroller Robert Hale told reporters Monday. “It’s quite generous compensation compared to private sector plans,” Hale said, adding the department could “revisit” the personnel figures — which make up $135.1 billion of the fiscal 2013 base budget — if the economy were to improve.
The proposal includes some good news for military families: It provides $48.7 billion for the Defense Unified Medical Budget to support the Military Health System and $8.5 billion to support the “well-being and psychological health of the military family, ensuring excellence in military children’s education and their development, developing career and educational opportunities for military spouses, and increasing child care,” budget documents said.
The president’s budget proposal provides a 1.7 percent increase to basic military pay in calendar 2013, the full increase authorized by current law.
But the request recommends slowing pay raises after 2014, capping them at 0.05 percent in fiscal 2015, 1 percent in fiscal 2016 and 1.5 percent in fiscal 2017. This idea was first introduced in January in Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s highlights of the budget.