Amid Hunger Strike, U.S. Senator Says Gitmo Prisoners Are ‘Eating Better’ Than Ever

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said one of the real issues at Guantanamo Bay is that prisoners there are overweight, despite the widespread hunger strike that has been taking place there since February.

During Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey’s confirmation hearing on Thursday, Inhofe, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the real problem with detainees at Guantanamo is that they’re eating too much.

“One of the big problems they have with the detainees down there is that they’re overweight,” Inhofe said. “They’re eating better than they’ve ever eaten in their lives. They have better medical attention; they have tests run that they’ve never heard of before.”

The military said Thursday that there are 75 detainees on hunger strike, which is down from 106 last week before the start of Ramadan. There are still 46 hunger strikers being force-fed, some with nasal gastric tubes against their will.

Conservatives like Inhofe have been seemingly trying to downplay the severity of the current hunger strike. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) said recently that the hunger strikers “look to me like a lot of them had put on weight,” while Washington Post columnist and American Enterprise Institute fellow Marc Thiessen said the detainees enjoy being force-fed through a tube.

Kirsten Gibson is an intern for ThinkProgress.