baklava spy

Spying at Gitmo

The baklava caper

Yesterday, the New York Times reported that an airman at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, had been charged with espionage:

The accusations contained in the six-page charge sheet, copies of which the Air Force provided tonight, include wrongfully taking photographs of the camp sites, transferring classified information to an unclassified computer and unlawfully delivering baklava to detainees.
NY Times, 24-Sep-03

Guantánamo Bay, or Gitmo as the Pentagoniscenti call it, is the site of the United States' ultra-secure, ultra-secret, no-names, no-pictures, know-nothing prison camp for "detainees" in the war on terror. The only way to get to it is on military planes. Practically everything about the place, except the fact that it exists, is classified. How many prisoners are being held there? Classified. What countries are the prisoners from? Classified. What are they charged with? Classified. How long have they been held? Classified.

All that secrecy notwithstanding, we now learn that the place is apparently a nest of spies, working from within our own armed services. A chaplain and a translator are already in custody, and others are under surveillance.

Some war on terror: Osama and Saddam are still at large, still producing video and audio tapes for broadcast on Arab television networks. The weapons of mass destruction (WMD as Rummy calls them) have not been located, despite a months-long search by a team numbering in the thousands. And now spies have penetrated the prison camp where the US is holding the most dangerous terrorist captives, apparently in perpetuity.

Rummy, say it isn't so!


Thinking about the charges levied against this translator has made me realize that it isn't so. It can't be. There can't really be an offense "unlawfully delivering baklava to detainees."

Dave Barry

No, it must be that Dave Barry, who normally writes for the Miami Herald, has hacked into the New York Times and slipped this preposterous allegation into the story.

Next I suppose they'll want us to believe the baklava contained messages secreted between the layers of phyllo dough.

It would all make a great Monty Python skit.