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Having served over three years at Guantanamo Bay, I cringe at its portrayal in some quarters. I lived there with my wife and four children, two of whom were born there. The houses were not air conditioned, but had open windows - no glass. If you purchased a room air-conditioner, you were not allowed to run it during the daytime. The weather is very dry and hot; it literally rains only one or two days a year. There are no mosquitos. Camp X-ray is located next to the water on an old airstrip, where there is usually a soft breeze from the trade winds blowing through the shaded cells. The size of the detainees' cells is perhaps double the private space a Marine gets. If humane conditions require large rooms and air-conditioned comfort, we have been inhumane to our military people and their dependents.
Readers of the Empire need to know that Frank Prewitt, who wrote the My Turn piece that appeared on Tuesday, is something more than "an Anchorage attorney and former commissioner of Corrections." He is one of the principals and the main spokesman for a private prison group that's been trying for several years to get a foothold in Alaska.
He and his associates stand to make millions of dollars should their ideas prevail. Once again, it would be a matter of public money being converted into private profits. Every day it becomes clearer throughout the country that for-profit, private imprisonment is a boondoggle that has done incalculable harm to the cause of good corrections.
Incidentally, I too have some experience in the corrections field - approximately 10 times as much as Mr. Prewitt. And I speak from the standpoint of having no financial or personal stake in this matter, except that all Alaskans will be the losers, should Mr. Prewitt and his Texas associates have their way.
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