Thursday, February 14, 2008

Shut down Guantanemo!

I'm not sure about the wisdom of the Bush Administration in bringing 6 prisoners at Guantanemo this year, and I'm even less sure of the wisdom of assuring us that the prosecutors will be seeking the death penalty. But that is apparently the plan. I hope that whoever gets elected, a year from now Guantanemo will be in the process of being shut down. As Nicholas D. Kristoff points out in his latest editorial, Guantanemo hasn't helped us all that much and has certainly hurt us.
Most Americans, including myself, originally gave President Bush the benefit of the doubt and assumed that the inmates truly were “the worst of the worst.” But evidence has grown that many are simply the unluckiest of the unluckiest.

Some were aid workers who were kidnapped by armed Afghan groups and sold to the C.I.A. as extremists. One longtime Sudanese aid worker employed by an international charity, Adel Hamad, was just released by the U.S. in December after five years in captivity. A U.S. Army major reviewing his case called it “unconscionable.”

. . . All this is inhumane, but also boneheaded. Guantánamo itself does far more damage to American interests than Mr. Hajj could ever do.

To stand against torture and arbitrary detention is not to be squeamish. It is to be civilized.
He's not wrong.

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