Detainees at Guantanamo Get Holiday Greetings

How do you say "Season's Greetings" to an enemy combatant being held at Guantanamo Bay? It's only a guess, but maybe the cheeful holiday cards go like this:

Dear Avowed Enemy of America: Merry Christmas.

Dear I Yearn to Be a Martyr and Hook Up With 72 Virgins in Heaven: Happy Hanukkah.

Dear Friend of Usama Bin Laden: Happy New Year.

It's a well-established tradition for Americans at home to deliver Christmas cheer to U.S. soldiers stationed around the world, but it turns out that prisoners held in the War on Terror are getting good tidings of their own, too.

The 400 or so detainees at Joint Task Force detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have received approximately 500 holiday greeting cards, said Army Col. Lora Tucker, a spokeswoman for the prison.

She said she did not know the faith content of the cards sent to the mainly Muslim detention population, because "Once it goes to the detainee, it's the detainee's mail."

She said the guard force at Gitmo has no interest in the content of the mail after it is screened for operations and security purposes.

Because nearly all the cards came from the United States, they probably had either a "happy holiday" or a Christmas theme, Tucker said, although it was possible some of the cards might be for the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid ul-Adha.

Tucker said the detainees have been given the opportunity to write special holiday greetings, but she did not know how many prisoners had sent holiday notes, or how many total had been sent from the prison.

In all, the prisoners at the base have received approximately 16,000 pieces of mail in 2006.

Tucker said the military personnel at the base had received about 2,000 holiday greeting cards from school groups and others, along with a number of gift stockings, "and there's more coming." That number does not include any personal mail the soldiers receive, which isn't tracked.

Tucker said that troops stationed at Guantanamo Bay are in no danger of forgetting what holiday it is on Monday: Candy canes are adorning ship ramps at the naval station; pontoon and private boats put on a military-style light show outside the naval base earlier this week; and a number of VIPs have made their way to Gitmo, including actor Gary Sinise, who played "Lt. Dan Taylor" in the movie "Forrest Gump."

The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders also have stopped by.

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the cards being sent to the detainees could be for the Eid ul-Adha holiday, which begins Dec. 30, but the tradition of card exchanges is nowhere nearly as established in the Muslim faith as it is in the Christian faith, especially in the United States.

"If the message is religiously appropriate in terms of being an actual greeting card, if that's what they're intended to do, then that's one thing," Hooper said.

But "if there's an orchestrated effort to somehow proselytize the detainees, I think that would be inappropriate in that they are in a captive situation."

FOX News' Mike Emanuel and Nick Simeone contributed to this report.