New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is one of the truly good guys in the National Football League. His foundation does great things in the New Orleans area and in other parts of the country. His teammates and coaches all love him. Now you can probably add U.S. military personnel to the list, as Brees recently returned from a U.S.O. trip to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where he was able to meet with a number of servicemen and women, as well as learn a bit about the operations of the controversial prison. Brees joined XX 1090 in San Diego to talk about his recent trip dow there and there were some very, very interesting tidbits from the interview about the everyday occurrences down there.
On his recent trip to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as part of a U.S.O Trip down there in June:
“Well, you know what, it’s been pretty tame. With the baby, obviously we haven’t traveled like we usually do. And that’s the whole reason really we did do a whole bunch of exotic trips early on, because we knew once we had the baby we’d be close to home and taking care of him and that type of thing. But I did get to go to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on a U.S.O. trip a few weeks ago. It was unbelievable; it was awesome. I can say this after that experience – the worst thing we can do is shut that baby down, for a lot of reasons. But I think there’s a big misconception as to how we are treating those prisoners; those detainees over there. They are being treated probably ten times better than any prisoner in a U.S. prison. They’re on a 6500 calorie a day diet whereas a normal U.S. prisoner is on a 2,000 calorie a day diet. I think the international media – there’s just been so much scrutiny over the way that we’re treating these guys, it’s almost like we’re going overboard to treat them so well.”
On what life is like for detainees at Guantanamo Bay, as far as he could tell:
“I mean, they’re allowed to call and write letters home, and receive letters and calls. They get five opportunities a day to pray, and they have arrows in the prison pointing towards where Mecca is. And the prison goes dead silent so these guys can have their religious time. They have rooms where they can watch movies and play Nintendo Wii. So I think that just goes ahead and says it right there. And you just talk to all the guards that are Army and Navy personnel, they’ll tell you stories about how these prisoners, they’ll be walking the cell blocks as they’re keeping an eye on these guys and they’ll be throwing the feces and urine in the faces of the guards as they walk by and the guards are not allowed to do anything. They’re not allowed to physically retaliate or do anything hardly to try to restrain these guys at all. These guys get away with whatever they want. And it was interesting because at one point, we were walking from one detention center to another and some of the prisoners saw us. And they started yelling torture! Torture! We teach them English by the way. But they assume since we’re in civilian clothes that we were members of the media so they started yelling torture, torture. So you know, anything that they can do to show a poor light on the U.S. military, they’re going to do it. Because it seems like they’re being treated very, very well over there.”
On some of the other things he saw detainees at Guantanamo do to U.S. military personnel:
“There’s all kinds of things. They’ll head-butt guards, they’ll kick guards, bite guards, and the guards are not allowed to do anything physically to those prisoners in order just to restrain them.”