Fredericton — In a bid to ensure a prosperous economic forecast for the province, Premier Brian Gallant has inked a deal with the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency for New Brunswick to serve as a detention area for unlawful combatants in the U.S.’s War on Terror.
“We’re thrilled to finally be able to close the controversial Camp Delta prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba and consolidate all our prisoners in one 28,000-square-foot prison largely devoid of human life, where all the access roads are enclosed by a protective moose fence,” said CIA Director John Brennan in a joint press conference with the Government of New Brunswick held at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
Director Brennan then turned to Premier Gallant and gave a “thumbs-up” gesture. “Spem reduxit,” declared Brennan, quoting the Latin motto for New Brunswick (“Hope restored”).
Response to the news of the prisoner transfers has been mixed. While many American citizens are relieved that the closure of the Guantánamo Bay prison has meant that potential terrorists will not be held captive on American soil, human rights groups have begun circulating numerous petitions calling the transfer of the combatants to New Brunswick an appalling breach of the Geneva conventions governing the treatment of prisoners of war.
“This is torture beyond anything that the CIA has perpetrated thus far,” said Amnesty International spokesperson Mary Claige Thursday evening at a fundraising soirée. “These prisoners, some of them have spent the last 10 years being rectally force-fed puréed spaghetti dinners and waterboarded without any conclusive proof that they were involved in terror plots.
“But to send people to a region where they will have to hunt and kill moose 3 times the size of a healthy man in order to survive, live in fear of being run down by snowmobile enthusiasts 8 months out of the year and spend the other 4 months evading roving crews of deranged, emaciated Irving tree planters… that is beyond the pale, even for the CIA.
“No one should have to be… in that place,” concluded Claige.
New Brunswick’s Deputy Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture Kelly Cain responded to criticisms of the government Friday afternoon at a public library “lunch-and-learn” event.
“Our province has always been a welcoming one to new arrivals,” said Cain, “and it is our fervent desire that, after they share what they know about who is hiding in the tribal regions of the mountainous areas of Pakistan and accept that the life they knew is over, they will be released and free to contribute to the rich cultural tapestry of New Brunswick.”
The deal is expected to net the province $84.7M U.S. annually, making it the 79th highest-paid U.S. Department of Defense sub-contractor.