Feeds

Guantanamo Bay loses 'least worst place' status - Navy

Photoshop chop

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

On a scale of worst, how worst can worst get? Back in 2001, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld took a crack at solving this riddle, dubbing Guantanamo Bay "the least worst place" to store evil-doers. But now, with the torture scandal unfolding, the Navy has declared that Guantanamo Bay is not "the least worst place" at all.

The Navy once embraced the "least worst place" Rumsfeldism proudly, displaying the slogan across the banner of its Guantanamo Bay web site. The witty motto made the Cuban prison seem not so bad, especially if you consider the palm trees and excellent views.

Picture of Guantanamo banner with "least worst" writtenTimes, however, change, and when a new commanding officer for the prison - Captain Les McCoy - took over near the end of 2003, he ordered a Photoshop job on the "least worst place" banner, removing the slogan all together.

"The removal was ordered because the commanding officer did not feel it accurately reflected his vision of the base," said Navy spokesman Lieutenant Mike Kafka.

(Yes, you're reading that correctly. A man named Kafka has been deployed to field questions about a prison where the criminals are only vaguely charged with crimes, can't speak to lawyers and likely will never get out.)

According to Navy sources, it may be acceptable for a slogan such as "the least worst place" to find its way onto a uniform patch, but it's really not meant to serve as the welcome wagon for a penal colony.

New banner without "least worst"Lt. Kafka declined to discuss whether this site change implied that Guantanamo Bay was still the least worst place. But another Navy worker told us, "You know some commanding officers come in and there is a picture of a sunset on their web site, and they decide they want a sunrise. You know, so they can start with a big bang. This is like that."

So, near the end of 2003, Cpt. McCoy pulled the banner and relegated the most famous Rumsfeldism to obscurity. All you'll find on the Guantanamo Bay site these days is a Red Cuba with an American flag thrusting out of its rear, along with a calming blue background for the text. You'll see that the Vet Clinic is still open for business as well - but that, according to the site, is supposed to be for the household pets of stationed officers' families.

Did the recent prison torture scandal play a role in the banner's demise? Not according to the dates provided by the Navy's Lt. Kafka. The scandal broke at the end of April, and the Commanding Officer ordered the site change at some point last year, or so Lt. Kafka told us, "prior to January 2004". Still, McCoy's sensitivity and foresight was impressive any way you slice it.

And here's a cheer for Photoshop, where the least worst place can become ambiguously worst with just a few clicks of the mouse. ®

Related stories

Abu Ghraib: US security fiasco
RIAA punishing Navy cadets because it can
NASA to fight terror with mental telepathy

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.