Revisited: A great deal for the detainees

There’s been a lot of discussion on what to do about the Guantanamo detainees. We have a pretty good consensus that the prison housing hundreds of suspected jihadists needs to be closed, yet we’re not exactly sure what to do with these guys. A few have been formally charged in U.S. courts and appear ready to go through the judicial process. As for the rest, I think the government is pretty much open to suggestions.

Attempts to foist them off on other countries seem to be going nowhere. State governments and Congressional leaders are steadfast in their refusal to accept them into American prisons. The idea that I floated in a post last February – that the detainees be put on a plane that “accidentally” crashes (see – seems to be gaining little traction.

Well, I’ve since had a similar brainstorm that I’d like to put forward. Rather than add yet another voice to the near-unison chorus of “not in my back yard,” I’d like to propose moving the 240 prisoners to my back yard.  Literally.

Actually, what I’m offering is a great deal on a rental house my wife and I own that we’ve been having trouble finding tenants for. This nicely landscaped brick ranch-style home is situated on an acre and a half in a quiet northeast Rock Hill neighborhood, with quick access to Interstate 77 leading north to Charlotte. It has three bedrooms, one-and-a-half baths, central air and heat, a large shed in the back yard and a covered carport. There’s a refrigerator and a water heater; no washing machine or dryer is included, but hook-ups do exist in a utility room off the carport. We’re asking $885 a month, and are willing to include two weeks free rent if they move in by the first of the month.

I understand that this 1,140-square-foot residence may be seen by some as rather tight quarters for 240 people, but it can’t be much worse than the conditions they’re enduring now. I mentioned the big shed, right? There’s also an attic, a crawlspace under the house and a covered patio.

I don’t know the neighbors all that well. Most of them are also tenants rather than owners, so I don’t think they’d care that much about so-called “undesirables.” The Guatemalan family down the street already has at least a dozen people living in a similar-sized house, so they can’t complain. And the people next door have had police called at least twice in the last six months for domestic disturbances; if my tenants start causing trouble (loud music, unauthorized yard sales, international hijacking plots, etc.), the authorities already know the area.

The suspected terrorists would be expected to keep the lawn in reasonably good shape. I doubt that any of them have a mower, but I imagine the Defense Department would offer a small release package similar to what freed convicts get when they’re furloughed from prison. Instead of a fresh suit of clothes and $50, might I suggest each man be allocated a government-issued goat that could provide milk, wool, meat and the ability to keep the grass at a city-mandated maximum two-inch height.

I know a lot of these criminals come from agrarian societies, so I’ll point out that the very large back yard has only a few trees on the edge of the property and plenty of room for a substantial garden. Most people in this part of the South plant primarily tomatoes, squash and watermelons, though I have no reason to doubt that opium poppies might also thrive in our summer heat. I would think that locally grown narcotics would be quite an attractive product in the organic farmer’s market held every other Saturday in the next town over from ours.

We don’t really have a viable public transportation system in Rock Hill, and I acknowledge that getting around could be a bit difficult for the Islamist fanatics. There are, however, several reasonably priced private cab companies and, for any individuals who suffered injuries during their stay at the naval base (I remember hearing something about torture), the county provides special-needs buses that go to the hospital area and to state benefits offices. Or maybe the several hundred men could pool their funds and buy a junker car that they could share. There’s a used-car lot within walking distance of the house, and their sign claims that not only do they “habla Espanol” but they also offer on-the-lot financing. And if the whole car-bombing image presents a credit problem, many similarly restricted drivers with DWI convictions find a moped to be quite adequate.

Speaking of businesses in the neighborhood, there’s a major highway (state road 161) only two blocks away — just close enough to be convenient but not bother any of the renters with road noise. Within walking distance is the Mayflower seafood restaurant (a “fish camp”-style eatery that offers both sit-down service as well as a great takeout menu), a Sonic drive-in complete with roller-skating waitresses, and a Subway. I’m not sure if any of these places are familiar with Halal, the Muslim dietary restrictions similar to kosher laws, but check with Chrissy at the Mayflower – she’s always so friendly to everyone. There’s also a new Food Lion grocery store under construction a half-mile down the road, due to open in August.

So, if anybody is interested in helping make the dream of living in a suburban home into a reality for these unfortunate individuals, please contact my property manager, Hartline Realty, at 803-367-6828. (The management services they offer are well worth the 10% cut they take, since I’m not especially handy at dealing with middle-of-the-night plumbing or dirty-bomb accidents). We can have these ruthless killers moved in by this time next week.

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One Response to “Revisited: A great deal for the detainees”

  1. Paul Dixon Says:

    The first thing they’d do would be to build a mosque in the back yard, then erect a minaret with a muezzin shouting from the top at full volume. You know how loud those things are? Everyone knows the Muslims have the greatest sound systems in the world, because Allah wills it. How do you think that would go over with the rural neighbors trying to hear Brad Paisley over their Master Blaster car stereo speakers? Plus, if the house is on a north-south axis, ya might as well forget it.

    I don’t know…I’d think twice about this idea.

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