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Why is Guantanamo seeking a wheelchair-accessible three-cell compound? Contingencies.

A detainee kneels in prayer at sunset on February 11, 2017, at Camp Six at Guantanamo's Detention Center Zone. The military approved release of this photo.

EMILY MICHOT/MIAMI HERALD/TNS

By CAROL ROSENBERG | The Miami Herald | Published: February 9, 2019

MIAMI (Tribune News Service) — The Guantanamo Bay prison is shopping for a new three-cell, handicapped accessible compound — complete with a 115-foot dog run and guard house that can tap into the Pentagon’s secret internet network. Why?

“We must prepare for multiple contingencies, and modular buildings can be adapted and configured to provide us the flexibility needed to adapt to numerous circumstances,” prison spokesman Navy Cmdr. Adam Bashaw said Friday. He declined to answer specifically whether the proposed new compound was meant for the war court; the prison’s most clandestine lock-up for former CIA prisoners, Camp 7; or for a site called Camp Echo where captives meet their lawyers.

Echo has what Pentagon officials describe as “legacy issues,” meaning they have in the past been wired with listening devices and cameras that, defense attorneys say, allows for eavesdropping that violates attorney-client confidentiality.

The prison posted the solicitation for the three 20-foot prefabricated cell units — each with an American Disabilities Act accessible shower plus TV, bunk and toilet, wall mounted desk and stool — on Wednesday with a short turnaround response date of Feb. 21.

In the same week, a Pentagon spokeswoman told McClatchy that the Trump administration still considers Guantánamo as a possible holding site for Islamic State prisoners detained by a U.S.-allied predominantly Kurdish militia in Syria. A State Department spokesman urged nations with citizens to take home and prosecute their nationals held as Foreign Terrorist Fighters by the Syrian Democratic Forces.. Four Republican senators who want some of the prisoners brought to Guantánamo say the SDF holds some 750 captives.

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