- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the United States, intelligence operatives with the Central Intelligence Agency turned some of the Guantanamo Bay inmates into double agents, sending them on a path to help kill those with intent to harm America — hopefully.

The Guardian reported that, in return, the CIA promised inmates their freedom and their families’ safety. Agents also promised to send millions of dollars into secret accounts that the inmates could tap.

The risk, of course: Freed inmates might then turn back against America.

On top of that, the American people were never told of the strategy, The Guardian reported.

The program, called Penny Lane — a nod to both the Beatles song and the CIA’s naming of another Gitmo facility, the prison called Strawberry Fields — ended around 2006. The operation was run out of eight hidden cottages on the property, beginning around 2002, when 632 prisoners arrived at the center.

The facility was outfitted with private kitchens for each cottage, showers, real beds with mattresses, and televisions, The Guardian reported. One other perk for the Penny Lane chosen: pornography on demand.

CIA officials used to joke about the luxury accommodations, referring to them as “the Marriott,” The Guardian reported.

Only a handful of inmates were actually elected for the program. The CIA refused to comment, but U.S. authorities have estimated that 16 percent of Guantanamo Bay inmates have joined the fight against the United States, upon their release. Other military experts suspect that percentage is even higher — by another 12 percent, The Guardian said.

The Guardian said it’s not clear if Penny Lane program participants have been included in those numbers.

 

 

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