Accused terrorists being held in a Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba have cost the federal government roughly $300,000 for liquid nutritional supplements due to hunger strikes.
Since March of 2013, 161,352 cans of liquid supplements have been purchased, which included $142,345 worth of vanilla Ensure, VICE News reported Monday. Documentation was provided to the news outlet after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit was filed against the Department of Defense.
“The transaction reports are especially noteworthy because they show that the purchases were made during a time when military officials were publicly denying claims by the detainees’ attorneys that a mass hunger strike was underway at the prison,” VICE reported.
The majority of the purchases were made between March and May of 2013, during which time Army Lieutenant Colonel Todd Breasseale, a Pentagon spokesman, said, “There is not a mass hunger strike amongst the detainees at GTMO,” the news website reported.
Navy Captain Tom Gresback, a Guantanamo spokesman, told VICE News last week that the liquid supplements were purchased in bulk “based on the anticipated medical requirements of the detainee population.” He added that “In any expeditionary environment, it is at the core of the supply chain discipline to ensure the basic necessities of life are always met — this is true for our detainees or our soldiers working here.”