Pentagon Spends $81K on TVs for Gitmo While Civilian Workers Are Furloughed

July 17, 2013 - 9:40 AM
Guantanamo Bay Prison

This March 30, 2010, file photo shows a tower at the detention facility of Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

(CNSNews.com) – Just two days after the Pentagon began furloughing hundreds of thousands of civilian personnel due to budget cuts, the Army ordered its second batch of televisions for the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, an expense totaling more than $80,000 in the last two months.

The Army’s Expeditionary Contracting Command (ECC) procured a $62,125 contract for television/DVD player combos on May 30.  The award went to Intech, Inc., a Government Services Administration (GSA) approved vendor.

A second contract, announced on July 11, allots $18,981.25 for TV sets and TV mounts.  This award was given to Digital Plaza Direct, the “electronics company of choice for all federal and local government purchasers.”

In all, the Army spent $81,106.25 in 42 days on television equipment for the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel warned just a day before the second TV purchase that sequestration will cause “serious damage” to the military.

"If the cuts continue, the Department will have to make sharp cuts with far-reaching consequences, including limiting combat power, reducing readiness and undermining the national security interests of the United States," Hagel said in a letter to the Senate Armed Forces Committee on July 10.

Furloughs for the Pentagon began on Monday July 9, when 650,000 civilian workers were forced to take the first of 11 days off without pay, one a week through September.

Guantanamo Bay, however, is not cutting back.  As CNSNews.com previously reported, the detention center also is looking to hire seminar instructors to teach terrorists watercolor painting, Adobe Photoshop and Arabic calligraphy, among other things.

In addition, the Pentagon has asked for $450 million to maintain and “upgrade” the detention facility.

It is not clear whether the televisions are for the 166 terrorist detainees housed at the prison, but the Guantanamo Bay facility does have  a “Detainee Library” that offers 2,415 DVDs for inmates to check out.

The ECC told CNSNews.com that it could not answer questions regarding the contracts and to contact the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo Bay (JTF-GTMO) for more information.

Inquiries to JTF-GTMO were not returned.