When I was in high school there was a "teacher evaluation week," when officials from the school board sat in on classes to evaluate the teachers’ performance. Teachers were notified in advance, so on the day my senior year English teacher was to be evaluated, she uncharacteristically wore a business suit and complimented students on answers we gave to her questions.
If people know their skills (or the conditions at their facility, for another example) are going to be evaluated by important people, they make an extra effort to ensure everything is fine and dandy. It’s human nature. But it’s also self-serving, as it gives the “examiner” a picture that’s anything but the status quo.
This post is not about my senior year English teacher, whom I liked. This is about Sen. Bill Frist’s (R-TN) comments on his recent visit to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, aka Gitmo, in Cuba.
Frist said conditions at the facility were excellent, and that prisoners’ healthcare was “better than many Americans get.” Acknowledging problems with American healthcare, are we, Bill? And Frist knows from healthcare; he’s a physician, one with the amazing ability to detect brain activity in comatose patients via video.
If what he said about Gitmo healthcare is true, and I have my doubts, why not send some of it this way? Do the people in charge there hate poor Americans more than they hate terrorists/terror suspects?
How stupid is First to think we’re so stupid as not to know that, whatever he saw in Gitmo, it was a sanitized, stage-managed, limited-access affair, as is always the case when important visitors pass through anywhere?
Whether it’s a daycare center, a restaurant, a school or a prison, no one charged with assessing its quality will ever receive an accurate reflection of the situation by doing a scheduled, limited visit. That’s just rational thinking.
Which probably explains Frist’s comments regarding Gitmo.