Miami correspondent Orlando Salinas just returned from Guantanomo Bay, Cuba where he was covering the espionage story for FOX News Channel. In an FOX Fan exclusive, he takes us behind the scenes of Camp Delta, where 660 "enemy combatants" of the United States are being held:
Since the attacks on 9/11 I've made half a dozen trips to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But this last military-sponsored trip to Gitmo most definitely had a different feel to it. Over the course of nearly a week we spoke with the usual group of military officers routinely made available to the media. But I wanted to speak with some of the troopers at Gitmo who weren't on the approved list of talkers, and that’s what I did several times.
Our group was taken to Camp Delta, on the windward side of Guantanamo Bay, where the 660 al Qaeda and Taliban detainees are being held. One thing I noticed almost right away as I stood outside Delta's main gates was that, for the first time since I’d been there, the people who were coming in and out of the main gates were being asked if they objected to having their faces photographed by the media. About half made it very clear they didn’t want their face photographed, and the media was ordered to put their video and still cameras down. I was told these people consisted of Red Cross officials, translators, private contractors, and U.S. guards.
I asked privately if this 'new' procedure had anything to do with the latest news of possible espionage at Delta. I was told that was a safe assumption — that some people at Delta, including U.S. troops, felt uneasy having their identities known in light of this on-going spy ring investigation. This person went on to tell me that U.S. guards at Camp Delta have also been told to take the military version of the ''buddy system'' to the next level, meaning they've been told to listen and look for any odd behavior on the part of their fellow soldiers. If anything strikes them as abnormal they've been told it's their duty to report it immediately to a senior officer.
As the days went by I spoke with different troopers who all echoed the same sentiment: "We're surprised by news of this spy ring, shocked that some of our fellow troops may be involved, BUT it won't stop the rest of us from completing the mission!"
I was curious about whether our troops, private contractors, and translators at Camp Delta, all had unfettered access to the internet. The short answer I was given was 'yes.' But I was told the U.S. military employs several software programs that track certain words and phrases in either e-mail or in websites visited.
I was also told that the military is in no rush to replace Army chaplain James Yousef Yee, now formally charged with one count of disobeying general orders and one count of improperly transporting classified materials. Yee had been in charge of providing ''spiritual guidance'' to the Delta detainees.
As of now a total of three people all who had access to Camp Delta and the detainees are suspected of either espionage or disobeying orders.
At least 10 U.S. troops with ''high security'' clearance — all practicing Muslims — continue to work as Camp Delta guards. I was told it was a safe bet that all 10 are now under tight supervision and that more arrests could be on the way.