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Guard tower and gate at Camp X-Ray at the Guantanamo Naval Station. / Tom Vanden Brook/USA TODAY

GUANTANAMO NAVAL STATION, Cuba - Camp X-Ray is not aging well.

The tropical sun and rain has pelted the plywood interrogation shacks into a weathered gray. Weeds choke the makeshift prison where U.S. troops watched over as many as 299 detainees. A Cuban emerald hummingbird darted around rusting concertina wire, darting in for a sip of nectar on flowering vines It's been 12 years since Camp X-Ray closed; the Taliban fighters and suspected terrorists picked up on battlefields in Afghanistan transferred to more permanent camps.

Camp X-Ray was the first stop for the five Taliban members traded last month for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Early in 2002, the world saw the first images of detainees, in orange jumpsuits, hands and feet bound, kneeling in the gravel.

Today, that holding area is choked with weeds.

The 8-by-8-foot chain link cells, strewn with the droppings of banana rats, remain open to the elements.

A federal court ordered in 2012 that the camp be preserved.

It sits not far from the main residential and commercial area of the naval base. A padlocked chain link fence now keeps people out.

Follow @tvandenbrook on Twitter.



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Gitmo's Camp X-Ray showing signs of age, deterioration

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