Guy Benson

In 2008, President Obama campaigned on closing the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention facility, a move he said would "regain America's moral stature in the world."  Apparently by "close," he meant, "make more fun!"  Your tax dollars at work, America:
 

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.


What, no retractable roof?  Those last few sentences are the national security justification for this expenditure, which may have some merit, but I'd still wager that most Americans won't be elated to learn they've picked up the tab for this new playground -- even for "highly compliant" jihadis.  Let's also juxtapose this story with the report featured in Katie's post from this morning:
 

The Obama administration’s proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits untouched. The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials. Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to increase the enrollment in Obamacare’s state-run insurance exchanges. The disparity in treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention. The proposed increases in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by Congress, are part of the Pentagon’s $487 billion cut in spending. It seeks to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017.


It's fascinating to contemplate this president's priorities.  He has offered zero solutions on reforming our bloated and unsustainable healthcare entitlement programs -- and has, in fact, championed and signed a massive new one.  His new budget would spend $47 Trillion over the next ten years, adding $11 Trillion to the national debt, a sum he's already bloated by $5 Trillion.  And yet, he does manage to break out the scalpel to slice funding for active duty military members, their families, and veterans.  Impressive.  If there's one thing that virtually everyone in America can agree on, it's that the men and women who risk their lives to defend our freedoms (in exchange for minimal pay) have earned good healthcare.  We're happy to contribute our tax dollars to that cause, especially because these folks already don't receive the quality of care they deserve.  But no.  The Commander-in-chief wants to slash the Pentagon's budget, and what better "waste, fraud, and abuse" to eliminate than, er, military healthcare benefits?  Again, this from President Healthcare. 
 
Recapping - Behemoth entitlement state: Expanded. Unconstitutional contraception mandate: Imposed. Terrorist soccer field: Built.  Military healthcare benefits: Cut.  Four more years!
 
 
UPDATE - I'm reminded of another item this president couldn't fit into his preposterously huge budget: Funding for a successful and popular school choice program that helps indigent children escape Washington, DC's failing public schools.  Who benefits?  Unions -- just like the unions who are exempted from his proposed military healthcare cuts, and the union to which Obama spoke earlier this afternoon.  As you watch this clip, bear in mind that White House spokesman Jay Carney claimed this was "not at all" a campaign event (meaning you and I paid for it):
 


UPDATE II - This soccer field story also reminds me that -- magically -- a majority of Democrats now support keeping open the un-American, torture chamber/hell hole/stain-on-our-national-conscience known as Gitmo.  Why, it's almost as if their relentless screeching about the facility during the Bush years was motivated by something other than principle!


Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography