Toilet Paper, Sheets Rationed at Guantanamo Bay

June 27, 2006 — -- Inside the wire at Guantanamo Bay, where the Untied States holds hundreds of terror suspects, those considered the most compliant in the camp are allowed communal recreation for up to 11 hours a day, where they are allowed to eat, pray and exercise.

"Nightline" anchor Terry Moran is at Guantanamo Bay this week. Tune in tonight for more of his interview with Rear Adm. Harry Harris.

But for the vast majority of detainees, conditions are far tougher. For example, the toilet paper supply is strictly regulated and handed out upon request.

At Guantanamo, it's a daily struggle between roughly 450 detainees and the 1,000 U.S. soldiers and sailors guarding them.

Rear Adm. Harry Harris is the man in charge of the camp. In his first interview since Guantanamo was rocked by a riot last month and three inmates committed suicide, he said he has no doubt that the men incarcerated there deserve their fate.

"I believe truly we are not holding any innocent men at Gitmo," Harris said.

But Harris also said that the detainees don't get to see the evidence against them. "It doesn't seem fair in a criminal sense, but these aren't criminals. They are enemy combatants," Harris added.

Only 10 detainees have been charged with war crimes. No court has ruled on whether the government has proved that the rest really are enemy combatants, and defense lawyers for those incarcerated say the lack of due process and absence of hope has turned Guantanamo into a place of despair.

"I really hope people start saying, 'What is it that we've done to people to cause them to think that killing themselves is better than waiting for American justice?" said lawyer Joshua Denbeaux, who represents two prisoners and is the co-author of two reports about Guantanamo detainees.

Sympathy Amid Warfare

Restrictions for inmates at Guantanamo have become even tougher since the June 10 suicides, when the men used sheets to kill themselves.

A guard said that while prisoners are still given sheets, they are handed out at night and collected in the morning.

Harris called the suicides an act of warfare, a comment that sparked outrage around the world.

"That's exactly what asymmetrical warfare is," Harris said. "It's when two folks, two powers, two entities are fighting and one is by all measures stronger than the other. Then asymmetric warfare is a way to wage combat by the power that has the lesser power."

Harris said he does feel for the families of the detainees, but must still do his job.

"Of course, I feel sorry for their families and the people they are close to," he said. "But they made that decision and we're moving on from that and dealing with it."

They may be moving on at Guantanamo Bay, but the men incarcerated here aren't going anywhere anytime soon.