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Gitmo Torture Links to PGA

WASHINGTON DC -- As the Special Prosecutor appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder begins his investigation of the CIA's interrogation program, more details about the Agency's use of "enhanced techniques" are coming to light.

"They would not let you rest, day or night. Stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down. Don't sleep. Don't lie on the floor," one prisoner said through a translator. The detainees were also forced to listen to rap artist Eminem's "Slim Shady" album, which apparently left them panic stricken.

One of the most controversial techniques, aside from the so-called "water boarding," was forcing Guantanamo Bay detainees to play golf. The sport was so foreign and frustrating to the prisoners, it made them frantic, according to sources.

"It's the equivalent of making American teenagers watch curling," said one ex-CIA contractor. "Most of them lasted an average of only five or six holes before caving in."

Al Qaeda's toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last long enough to make to the back nine before begging to confess.

Gitmo's 18-hole Yetera Seca Golf Course was once among the finest in the Caribbean. Now it's the strangest -- a parched casualty of the cold war. Water piped in from Cuba greened the course and the rest of arid Guantanamo before the revolution. But Castro turned off the supply in 1964, and since then the base has depended mostly on less-than-reliable desalting equipment. The fairways are moonscapes of crushed coral and limestone, with the odd cactus or mango tree for vegetation. To simulate a grassy surface, players carry a foot-square piece of Astroturf and take their shots on that. The pro shop carries a supply of the green squares, but dedicated Gitmo golfers use their own artificial-grass doormats, purchased in the States.

While publicly the USGA disputes the potential Geneva Convention violations of golf as an enhanced interrogation technique, others are anonymously acknowledging a darker truth about the sport.

"Why do you think so many business deals are done on the links," said a PGA club pro at an exclusive private country club. "CEO's can't get away with waterboarding their clients, so they bring them out here."

Golf Digest has noted an increase in subscriptions to the Cuban Naval base since the terrorist detention camp opened in 2002.


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