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Q&A: Will Guantanamo base be closed?

Gitmo Naval base will stay on

Is President Obama planning to get rid of just the prison at Guantanamo Bay or Guantanamo Bay all together?

The Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in operation since 2002, are located on the eastern end of the 45-square-mile Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, with hundreds of cells spread across a site called Radio Range, according to a recent Miami Herald story. The naval base, which dates to 1903, will remain open, according to a Navy spokesman cited by the Herald.

"We're going to continue on. We're the only base in the Caribbean. We're the only base in the Fourth Fleet. We're not going anywhere, " Chief Petty Officer Bill Mesta told the Herald.

However, the base had lost strategic importance and was like a sleepy small town until 2002, when President Bush named it as the main prison to hold enemy combatants in the war on terror. After his inauguration, President Barack Obama announced his plan to close the prison camp by Jan. 22, 2010, but the Senate recently voted to remove the $80 million he requested for the closure and removal of personnel.

According to the New York Times, 30 of the 240 remaining detainees have been cleared for release, but more than 100 may need to be moved to the United States, including 50 to 100 described as too dangerous to release.

Main voice of trailers died in '08

I was at a movie theater recently and as I was watching the previews, it occurred to me that the same man is the "voice-over" for all the movie trailers. Anyway, it sure sounds like the same guy. Can you tell me if that is so and some information about this person?

Until his death in 2008, Don LaFontaine was considered the voice of trailers. As the New York Times reported, LaFontaine "recorded voice-overs for more than 5,000 movie trailers and, during a period in the 1990s, had an almost absolute monopoly on network television promotional spots."

Since then, the top man appears to be Hal Douglas, 84, who lives in northern Virginia and does his trailers in a studio on his horse farm. "He stands at the apex of a group of 15 to 20 voice actors whom Hollywood has deemed trailer-worthy," says the Times.

Insincerely ingratiating

What does "smarmy" mean?

Smarmy has several definitions. A smarmy person means to act unpleasantly and excessively suave or ingratiating in manner or speech. Or a smarmy person lacks sincerity. It can also be used to mean low, sleazy taste or quality.

The origin of the word is unclear. The first citation for smarmy appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary, which pointed to its historical link to smarm. There is a mid-1800s citation indicating the word smarm was meant to "daub" or "smear."

Q&A: Will Guantanamo base be closed? 07/14/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 7:04am]
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