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The Shame of Guantanamo, 11 Years On

| January 4, 2014

U.S. Army MP Spc. Kevin Tardi, guarding Gitmo. (Jim Wagner)

U.S. Army MP Spc. Kevin Tardi, guarding Gitmo. (Jim Wagner)

I remember the time—we all do, or should—when, whatever one felt about the concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay, at least opinions about it flew left and right. The fact of the prison’s existence was enough to spark debate about what we stood for as Americans, or no longer stood for considering that we were willing to imprison and torture hundreds of men and boys illegally, indefinitely, outside the reach of the law or basic due process.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive.com flaglerlive Guantanamo was a grim enough blight on America’s conscience that it was an election issue in 2004 and again in 2008. It inspired one of Barack Obama’s most memorable phrases when he blamed his predecessor for putting forth “a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide.” It also inspired one of Obama’s clearest promises. He’d close Guatanamo.

Here we are five years after he was first elected, 11 years after the concentration camp opened, and Guantanamo is still there. It’s a sign of how far the national conscience has sunk, how stale it’s become, that mentions of Guantanamo today don’t raise questions about its existence, but about the mentions themselves: What Guantanamo? Who cares? And So what?

I have no doubt that writing of it now here might cause all sorts of yawns, mostly from those wondering what on earth I’m talking about: people are more conversant with the flap over Mitt Romney’s black grandchild or Phil Robertson’s Bible-thumping bigotry about gays than they are about an American prison indistinguishable from the camps of the Soviet gulag during the Stalinist era.

Obama broke his promise to close the camp, but he’s not alone to blame. Democrats and Republicans in Congress ran scared every time he showed a way to close the camp. They didn’t want those inmates on American soil, as if somehow a prison complex on the mainland couldn’t be trusted to hold them securely. As if there is that much to distinguish the blue-eyed blond domestic murderer of innocent civilians—a terrorist to his victims regardless of the way FBI statistics prefer to more cleanly euphemize him—from the generic Allah-chanting Arab with a suicide belt. More disturbingly, those generic congressmen either did not trust the American legal system to work as advertised, or feared that it actually would. If it did, it would find that many of those alleged terrorists are little more than bit players and pawns of machinations they didn’t even want a part of.

A Pentagon report released in 2009 found that out of 534 Guantanamo prisoners transferred back to their countries, one in seven had allegedly engaged in terrorist activities, or been suspected of it, understanding that the way the Pentagon defines “terrorist activities” is its own well-guarded mystery, and suspecting someone of being a terrorist is not the same as committing a terrorist act. Ask Richard Jewell’s ghost. Still: assume that one in seven of those was a born-again terrorist. That means six out of seven were not. Was the Pentagon suggesting that holding that 86 percent of prisoners would have been justifiable, because 14 percent (a much lower rate than the typical violent American criminal’s recidivism) had gone fanatic again? The grim Bush-Cheney era’s answer was of course an absolute yes. Enough members of Congress have so far preferred to apply the same untenable calculus. Obama isn’t the alien one in this formula. His congressional opponents are.


Obama is trying again. No one was paying attention the day after Christmas when he signed into law a defense bill that again puts Guantanamo on a path to closure, which means that 79 prisoners could be sent home and 71 more could have their case reviewed to determine whether they still pose a threat, and could also be sent home. That would leave just eight men there (among them the grotesque Khalid “Sheikh” Mohammed, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, whose confessions should have long ago earned him a place in one of Louisiana’s Midnight-Express-like prisons). The eight have either been convicted through Guantanamo’s kangaroo courts, or are now being made to jump through those bogus proceedings. But Obama’s attempts have been through this before, only to be hijacked by congressmen too scared of their shadows, and too aware of the public’s indifference to Guantanamo’s existence.

So in answer to why speak of Guantanamo now, here’s why: the indifference makes us all complicit in a betrayal of American values that has outlasted even that miserable sham once known as the war on terror. A little more awareness could go a long way to nudge Congress back to civilization on this count. I don’t hold out hope. The irony should not be lost on us that our congressional district is represented by Ron DeSantis, the sort of fanatic who had no trouble advertising his brief service in Guantanamo’s kangaroo courts as a badge of honor while leaving silent his employment with a more legitimate Florida corporate law firm.

With political charlatans like that in Congress, who don’t know their Constitution from their Lenin, it’s no wonder Guantanamo endures, and with it an American shame most Americans refuse to admit.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here.

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44 Responses for “The Shame of Guantanamo, 11 Years On”

  1. m&m says:

    This place houses the most savage terrorists and would kill you in a heart beat.. This camp must stay where it’s at and continue to keep these animals away from our homes our great country..

  2. Sgt. Steele says:

    Perhaps we can keep these “terrorist” in a Bed & Breakfast like ..oh maybe YOUR house ! We all know Islamic radicals will do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to further their cause. And US, the Great Satan is their biggest prize. So either we keep them at your house or they stay at Gitmo !!!!

  3. Freddimac says:

    What a bunch of Liberal tripe……

    ” With political charlatans like that in Congress, who don’t know their Constitution from their Lenin, it’s no wonder Guantanamo endures, and with it an American shame most Americans refuse to admit.”

    I would not have even commented on this piece if you would have added that Obama does not know the constitution from his Lenin either. Oh wait.. I am wrong there. He knows the difference between the two very well. Unfortunately he just disregards the constitution.

  4. Steve Wolfe says:

    I fear more the fanatical political use of the agencies of the Federal government by the Obama Administraion against its own citizens who happen to merely exercise their Constitutional rights. Last time I checked, there was no Constitutional right for foreign combatants to commit terrorist acts against the United States, and when captured, seek protection from the very people they wish to murder.

    If Ron Desantis is a fanatic, I’ll take dozens more like him in Congress.

  5. Paul Anderson says:

    The anti American shameful behavior of socialist Pierre Tristam is regrettable.

    • Lefty Wilbury says:

      Pierre is an AMERICAN exercising his 1st ammendment rights.
      It is anti-American (and “regretable”) to want to dissuade someone from expressing his or her beliefs.
      He owns this domain and can say whatever he pleases.

      The author is good enough to allow YOU (and many others) to attack him on his own news-blog.
      We are GUESTS here and the host is very hospitable..
      Here’s to free speech and unimpeded disemination of ideas!
      Hear hear!

  6. Bill Hazz says:

    I know i don’t have a clue as to what “Guantanamo” really means, why do you think you do? As an Obama loyalist, why don’t’ you support his failed attempt to do better? Because Obama knows better than you and he is not willing to sacrifice America when the blame would so clearly point to him.

    One day you will see, through real eyes, what America has committed to this world… and most of it is very good.

    • Evegny Borschnitskaya says:

      The people in palistine not happy with america. America do to many rong thing with israel .
      This is not good thing s .

  7. Concerned says:

    Ain’t that the truth, sigh…

  8. Clark Griswald says:

    I think the editor of this article should be locked up at Guantanamo. Reading this sure sounds like you are defending the same people that killed thousands of Americans. It only took one mastermind terrorist as you stated to commit the 911 attacks. Not one of the prisoners is worth one tax dollar to keep them alive.
    I am sure you are not going to post my comments. I think Flaglerlive should think about who side of the terrorist attacks they support.

  9. Otis Wilbury says:

    “The indifference makes us all complicit in a betrayal of American values that has outlasted even that miserable sham once known as the war on terror.”

    What ever happened to American values? We’re losing our identity more and more by the day.

    • Greg Rose says:

      Otis

      For your info, the “war on terror” started in 634 AD after Mohammed told his followers to go out and conquer, convert or otherwise kill the infidels. Nothing has changed and nothing will until civilization removes the scourge of religious war. The radical Jihaddis are just like they were 1400 years ago.

  10. karma says:

    On May 2nd 2011 the President of the United States praised himself and the Navy seals for the killing of Osama Bin Laden. The one person he never spoke of was Dr.Shakil Afridi, A Pakistan doctor who worked with the CIA and was instrumental in locating Bin Laden. Today he sits in a Pakistan prision for the next 33 years for “colluding with terrorists”.
    American Pastor Saeed sits in a jail cell in Iran. His crime?His Christian faith!!!! Yet your president wants to lift sanctions on Iran.
    This weekend we learn 2 cities in Iraq have taken over by Al Qaeda-linked militants. Who is in Guantanamo Bay? Oh that’s right, Al Qaeda-linked militants.
    So what will be the bigger story over the coming weeks? Phil Robertson’s Bible-thumping bigotry, or the deaths of innocent people by Islamic extremist that would stone to death the same people Phil Robertson speaks of.

  11. Diana L says:

    Gitmo is another shameful mark on our country. Are you kidding me about blaming President Obama for not closing Gitmo? Are you not aware that Congress passed laws to forbid the closing? Unfortunately, Ron DeSantis cares more about his puppet masters, the Koch Brothers, than he does this Country.

    • Steve Wolfe says:

      Are you kidding me? Are you blaming Congress for passing bills that Obama has to sign into law or else they aren’t really laws?

    • Johnny Taxpayer says:

      Congress can pass laws without the President’s signature?

    • ohmy says:

      Diana,

      You are aware that our liberal Senate also passed the legislation aren’t you–
      What’s DeSantis got to do with this?

      The “shameful” mark on our country is the Muslim Physician that murdered folks crying “Ala Akbar” and gets charged by Eric Holder with “workplace violence”.

      I’ll leave it at that!

  12. Rocky Mac says:

    The shame of Gitmo is leaving these men languishing without a trial. Either get to it or turn them over to another country who will do so. Regarding Militants who kill in the name of Mohammed do you know more people are killed in this country under the name of Christianity? It does not matter if you are killed by a Christian extremist or a Muslim extremist, you are dead either way. Greg: Can you site for me where it states Mohammed ordered his followers to kill the infidels? Reading the Koran is on my bucket list but if you could point it out you will save me a lot of time.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It puzzles me that some people cannot get the obvious harm we do ourselves when we demand more humane treatment of Amercian citizens from other countries and cultures while failing to follow that same high moral level of conduct ourselves.Are you outraged when Americans overseas are held for indefinite periods without trial? Would you be as willing to tolerate questionable “interrogation” tactics practiced on American citizens? Do you, or do you not, want the support of other nations, that might otherwise find it easier to support and trust us? Considering how boldly we lied to get other countries to go along with us in our invasion of Iraq, I think we have some work to do to convince other nations of the trustworthy and honorable nature of our intent. If any of the prisoners at Guantanomo have, or have had, links to terrorism that renders them dangerous, we should have been able to make a case to prove it by now. If we haven’t, we either incompetent, sloppy or these people are much smarter and sophisticated than we are. Guantanomo is a blight on our country’s name. It needs to be closed and we need to develop much better ways to deal with the continued terrorist threat. As long as we act in such a hypocritical, foolish and heavy-handed fashion, we are only adding more fuel to the fire and idealogically creating more determined terrorists. And we are making their recruiters’ jobs a lot easier.

    • Steve Wolfe says:

      Puzzled, or confused? There is no equivalency between Americans held in other countries and savages who strap on bombs or take on other weapons to mass-murder people who are different from them. None at all. Last time I checked, none of the allies who joined us in the war on terror have shunned us for Guantanamo, and none have come up with a “more moral solution.”

      By the way, the nations who’s support you might seek actually look to the United States for leadership, but as of late, they see nothing to follow. They do, however rely on us to do the dirty work in the war on terror, and the drone program is an example. Your criticism mirrors that of the Europeans, who poke at us for the sake of appearances, but quickly hide behind us when threatened. I, for one, think it better to vaporize terrorists on sight as opposed to capturing them and placing them in indefinite detention; however, Guantanamo provides a much better detention environment than the overseas prisons you envision holding Americans. Which of those countries have modified their interrogation practices after protest from their citizenry?

      As for the terrorists being more sophisticated than we are, then why have they not evolved beyond hate? Try to name the last terrorist who received a Nobel Prize for a contribution to mankind.

      The author pointed out that the name “Guantanamo” has nearly fizzled in the American discourse. I would like to see some positive suggestions on how to handle the continued terrorist threat, rather than simply mud slinging. Some terrorists will have to be held. Find a better place for them. Your house, perhaps? You know that their friends will try to free them, right? That probably makes the typical American jailhouse and your house pretty bad choices, as it paints a bull’s eye on them. First we must survive. We can worry about how others perceive us only if we beat back the hoards. As for their recruiters, guess again: their radicalism is a terrorist mill. They don’t need hatred of Americans to build a jihad. So if you think you will be held in higher esteem by the jihadists by shunning your nation’s policies, you are playing a losing hand. I dearly appreciate the men and women who have taken up arms, and place themselves between me and those bullets flying our direction.

      • Anonymous says:

        @Steve Wolfe says–Why have THEY not managed to evolve beyond hate? There is plenty of hate in this country, my friend, even in the comment section of this very forum, if you care to look. If Americans have done such a dandy job of evolving beyond hate, then why are we so addicted to our guns? Hate breeds hate. By not following the example we ourselves espouse to the rest of the world, we simply look like the hypocrites we are. You talk about how other countries cannot seem to evolve beyond hate and then talk about your preferred tactic of “vaporizing” the enemy on sight? Now, THAT’S an evolved attitude! I do not think terrorists are more sophisticated than we are. I spoke previously about how detaining someone without due process for years without being able or willing to prove our case against them to justify their open-ended incarceration as suggesting that either we are unable or unwilling, through either our incompetence or arrogance, to do so. Either that, or those prisoners have been crafty/sophisticated enough to make that hard for us to do. Guess which one I think is the unfortunate truth? Being a citizen of this country should not make you a target for extinction but neither does it make you inherently superior. To tout your superiority in such a heavy-handed fashion makes you no better than the enemy are referring to. If an American was detained indefinitely in another country without due process or hope for eventual release and subjected to questionable, possibly torturous, “interrogation” tactics, you would not find THAT country’s excuses for doing so acceptable.Those are the people you think we should “vaporize”, remember? If you want to make things even more dangerous for our soldiers who serve overseas, keep building more Guantanamos and keep condoing torture. Those tactics have not been proven to make us one whit safer…Quite the opposite, in fact.

        • Steve Wolfe says:

          OK, I’ll take a look……..

          Alright, after taking a look, I see some disagreement, some arguments, a lot of hot air, and some comments that might verge on unkind, all in the form of written WORDS. But “hate?” I don’t hate you, and I don’t have time for those who do. Heck, I could treat you to lunch. This is just a nice little forum where we all can vent after Pierre stimulates us a little. (Pierre must be down from “ROFL” to “mild amusement” after years of tossing the ball in the ring.) I think connecting gun ownership with hatred is illogical. I believe the majority of Constitutionally legally held guns belong to citizens who hope they never have to use them, but are simply prepared to defend their own life, or their loved ones. Hate is not a motive there. Gun violence, on the other hand, often involves hatred, when used illegally. But self-defense is not hate, nor is it illegal. It’s not an addiction, either. It’s a right.

          As for what we espouse to the rest of the world, you could find some conflict there regarding holding terrorists indefinitely, but I defy you to face those people, after they attacked and killed your fellow countrymen and women and children when their hatred boiled over, and determine that they are worthy of the same treatment as our citizens. They aren’t even interested in our court system. When some of them are tried, they spit at the judge, and refuse to acknowledge the authority of our laws over them.

          Here is a problem you may have with me: I am biased in favor of our country. Likewise, they prefer their own. But their country hasn’t sent its wealth to all points on the planet, regardless of political barriers, to feed, clothe, and shelter victims of natural disasters, nor do they volunteer their troops to protect the weak around the world. They don’t even share the value we have for human life to do so, and they couldn’t send their wealth if they wanted to, because their un-evolved way of life inhibits the acquisition of wealth. (No, they aren’t poor because we stole it.)

          I haven’t seen anyone reach them through their ages-old hatred for others, and the object of war is to eliminate your enemy. We do it more efficiently and effectively than they do, and you’d better hope so, too. So, yes, I prefer that they be “vaporized” (a colorful term for eliminated, killed, terminated, extinguished, or rendered no longer able to participate in hostile acts against our troops), when they are determined to be a threat to our lives, including the lives of our troops. Our efficiency is a result of the evolution of war tactics and technology, so, yes, it is an evolved attitude. I certainly am not an advocate for fighting them in the same manner in which they fight. I want an advantage over our enemies.

          As for superiority, I think that is an offshoot of arrogance. None of our troops are fighting out of a sense of superiority, but they wish to and deserve to fight from a superior position. I want our troops to have every advantage over our enemies that we can deliver to them, so all of ours come home, and none of theirs do.

          By the way, Americans historically ARE detained in other countries without due process, and have been subjected to torture and murder. I am sure you are aware. I don’t think that our soldiers could face more danger and hatred than they already do, because they are so often victorious over some very bad people who don’t lose well. The hostility of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 preceded detainees placed in Guantanamo. I don’t think that it follows, then, that we have made anything worse for ourselves by keeping some bad guys out of the war. Look at it this way: If we weren’t holding them, then at some point on the battle field, we’d just have to vaporize them.

      • A.S.F. says:

        You talk about your preference for “vaporizing terrorists on sight”, while labeling THEM as savages? You don’t sound much different from “them” to me!

  14. fruitcake says:

    Sounds to be as if your trying to give Obama a free pass…he is just as guilty as all the rest of those bums….
    keep Guantonamo open and and keep all of that scum out of this country!

  15. Jack Howell says:

    Thought you might be interested in this. One of my students sent the following:

    This is by far the best explanation of the Muslim terrorist situation I have ever read. The author’s references to past history are accurate and clear. It’s not a lengthy read, it’s easy to understand, and it’s well worth the read. The author of this email is Dr.Emanuel Tanya, a well-known and well-respected psychiatrist.

    A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When he was asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.

    ‘Very few people were true Nazis,’ he said, ‘but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.’

    We are told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking heads’ that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace.

    Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

    The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honour-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

    The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the ‘silent majority,’ is cowed and extraneous. Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people..

    The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were ‘peace loving’?

    History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:

    Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

    Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.

    Now Islamic prayers have been introduced into Toronto and other public schools in Ontario, and, yes, in Ottawa too while the Lord’s Prayer was removed (due to being so offensive?) The Islamic way may be peaceful for the time being in our country until the fanatics move in.

    In Australia, and indeed in many countries around the world, many of the most commonly consumed food items have the halal emblem on them. Just look at the back of some of the most popular chocolate bars, and at other food items in your local supermarket. Food on aircraft have the halal emblem, just to appease the privileged minority who are now rapidly expanding within the nation’s shores.

    In the U.K, the Muslim communities refuse to integrate and there are now dozens of “no-go” zones within major cities across the country that the police force dare not intrude upon. Sharia law prevails there, because the Muslim community in those areas refuse to acknowledge British law.

    As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts – the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

    • Nancy N. says:

      “The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.”

      Ironic observation considering that most of the people complaining about Islamic fanatics seem to have no problem with the Christian fanatics currently dominating that religion, and riding roughshod over their more moderate compatriots and the society they exist in.

      • Anonymous says:

        Christian fanatics don’t carry AK-47s or RPGs much less use them to kill and maim as many of their enemies as possible. You bleeding heart liberals better wake up real quick. The situation is getting worse in more and more places around the globe. Jihad Jane anyone?

        Non Sequiter my ass!

        • Pierre Tristam says:

          Needless to say, Anonymous is misinformed. To not stray too far from the reservation, I need only point to my own fellow-Lebanese Christians, who could kill, maim and massacre not only their enemies, but their enemies’ women and children (with AK-47s and RPGs). Remember the massacres of Sabra and Chatila? The sadly forgotten Karantina massacre? The Tel el-Zaatar massacre? And of course that’s just very recent history. Christian fanaticism’s rivers of blood through history would be more copious than the Nile, the Mississippi and the Amazon combined. Islam’s red river, while occasionally copious as well, is a trickle in comparison, hard as modern Muslim fanatics have been trying to catch up. Convenient of you to remain anonymous.

        • A.S.F. says:

          @Anonymous says–You must be kidding me! Christian fanatics don’t do these things? Do you read history? Have you heard of the Crusades? Have you heard of the Inquisition? “Good Christian Nations” have been justifying conquering other people and claiming their land and other resources in the name of Jesus since Jesus died and others started twisting his words around to suit their own ends. I can’t imagine what Jesus would have to say about the many atrocities that have been committed in his name!. All he would have to do is see one burning KKK cross…or hear one Tea Party candidate in Congress utter THEIR fear-based bigoted views and he would be moved to call it blasphemy! Sorry, but I think you need to read your history again, my friend, and take a more honest look around you.

      • Steve Wolfe says:

        Nancy N., “Ironic observation considering that most of the people complaining about Islamic fanatics seem to have no problem with the Christian fanatics currently dominating that religion, and riding roughshod over their more moderate compatriots and the society they exist in.”

        There is no comparison. There is more murder happening in our society from secularists who abort their own babies under the guise of “reproductive rights.” The worst Christians do around here is say things. Last time I checked, words still can’t hurt me. Across the globe Christians are persecuted by Muslims to death, and around here with hatred and efforts to deny them their rights in the very country they were born in, which guarantees religious freedom and freedom of speech. What exactly do you mean by riding roughshod? Just because you disagree with or hate Christians doesn’t mean you should declare that they are doing something wrong. Isn’t it considered unforgivable when people do that to gays?

    • w.ryan says:

      When will the fanatics in the U.S be considered fanatics? Seems that the pot cannot see its bottom whilst it fans the flames for the kettles’ demise! Adolf Eichmann organized the slaughter of Millions of Jews, He finally was apprehended and tried for his crime. But America has yet to pay for its past war crimes or come to terms with its evils and wrongdoings. The Native Americans, Slavery, Internment of the Japanese Jim Crow, overthrow of many governments, etc, the nuking of Japan, the chemical bombing of Asia, etc, etc. etc… Really Jack!

    • Lefty Wilbury says:

      A most thoughtful & informative post. Thank you!

  16. ryan says:

    This is the problem with not killing terrorists and capturing them. Terrorists then become “victims” and get released just to do it again. If we could stop disciplining our troops when they don’t bring them in alive, that would save a lot of money, and cut funding to the dishonorable JAG corps who have prosecuted troops that did nothing wrong like Lt. Michael Behenna or the Fallujah 10. Also the Marine who warned his fellow soldiers about a child molesting Afghan police official who was a danger is being prosecuted by another pathetic JAG. No offense to the good JAGs by the way. It is truly wrong.

  17. Jeremy says:

    Does anyone here or elsewhere know anything about the those “terrorists” of Guantanamo?
    To be really fair and just, put them all on trial and give them legal support.
    Don’t tell me that’s not what they do in their own countries. Those are *their* countries.
    This is America the great.

    Keep the “guilty” and free the innocent.

  18. Genie says:

    “With political charlatans like that in Congress, who don’t know their Constitution from their Lenin, it’s no wonder Guantanamo endures, and with it an American shame most Americans refuse to admit.”

    I wonder how many are familiar with the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011? In it there was an indefinite hold provision, meaning that President Obama has the power and authority to arrest ANYONE, including American citizens anywhere at anytime and hold them INDEFINITELY (years, if he feels like it) without benefit of counsel.

    http://rt.com/usa/obama-ndaa-appeal-suit-229/

    This passed Congress with all but 11 votes and the President signed it. I don’t think ANYONE in Congress or the White House is concerned with the Constitution. You have no rights under this law any longer.

  19. U.S.A.F.-350Z says:

    should we release all the rapist and murders in our prisons because 86% won’T do it again? I mean only one in seven will go back to that lifestyle.

    (understanding that the way the Pentagon defines “terrorist activities” is its own well-guarded mystery)…really
    and let me guess, you are the kind of guy that think if a woman is drunk and passed out it is OK to has sex with her…because she didn’t ACTUALLY say no?

    How about you throw on a uniform and go spend 12 months in some shit-hole sleeping in a 10 x 18 tent with 15 other guys working no less than a 14hr shift, roughly 7-10 before seeing a day off. and lets not forget having mortars & rockets being shot into your camp every night. When you become a man, and are willing to defend your country… then you may have an opinion on THIS subject that i might respect.

    **Much respect to all the women who serve as well…didn’t want that to come across sexist

  20. NortonSmitty says:

    My oh my, what a bunch of brainwashed patriotic idiots we have here. Guantanamo exists so we can imprison Muslims or anybody without even charging them with a crime. So we never have to allow them to defend themselves in a court of law as has been the Rights of Man since the Magna Carta. Three centuries before the American Constitution, it was settled that every man has a basic unquestionable right to confront their accuser in a court of law and make them prove their guilty of charges or to be set free. Summed up in the Latin phrase “Habeus Corpus” or “Show me the Body”/ You charge me with murder? OK, Show me the Body. Or turm me loose. Only the worst of the worst would argue against this basic guarantee of an individuals rightful defense against an all-powerful ruling government.

    Only Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot or Kafka would say otherwise in the 20th Century. But in the 21st, you folks on this page think it’s OK if we are told the prisoners are terrorists and the rulers are named Bush, Cheney, Netanyahu or Obama.

    A dozen years after 9/11 and not one person has been brought to trial for the crime. And none ever will. Because if they were, a first year law student would have no trouble putting on a defense that proves that the official story we dare not question of what happened on 9/11/01 is a total crock of shit. Anybody who looks at the facts, from the motives of the Saudi hijackers to the lack of air defense to the basic physics of the only three hi-rise buildings in history to collapse from a fire (yea, there were three. Google Building 7) let alone into their own basements without hitting another building, It Makes NO Sense!

    Any thinking person who actually digs into the facts knows the Official Story is a blatant lie. Even if it’s what we are told every day since then and how we are told all our neighbors and the world accept this as a fact we dare not question. We may not be sure of what actually transpired on that terrible day,but one thing is sure. Any thinking person can look up enough facts to see what we have been told, as well as where we have been led since, is pure, unadulterated bullshit.

    Myself, I am led to believe that 9/11 was not a Terrorist Attack, 9/11 was a coup. And the day the US ceased to exist and became one of the New World Order. I know, that’s impossible. So study it yourself and tell me where I’m wrong. I hope you do, but I don’t think you will.

  21. A.S.F. says:

    The State of Israel, which has been, and will most likely continue to be, more under attack by terrorists than we, in America, will ever be, sometimes releases prisoners for political and strategic reasons, even those with terrorist ties, when they judge that their security needs are better served by doing do. The Israelis are not “wusses” and they do not do release prisoners easily or happily. They do it when they gain more by doing so than they lose by keeping those prisoners locked up. Guantanamo is a functioning monument to the mistakes committed by us in the Bush-Cheney years. Obama should have found a way to shut it down before now. Those prisoners who can be reasonably proven to pose a danger should be tried and evidence of their threat made public for the world to see. Then, maybe, we can justify their continued incarceration. Otherwise, we are simply continuing to trod down a very costly path that might boomerang horribly on our own captured troops overseas and which only blackens us in the eyes of other civilized nations. Oh, Guantanamo– What a great recruiting tool it has become for terrorists all over the globe!

  22. A.S.F. says:

    @Genie says–If the Departments suspicions can be proven and a case made to capture and/or detain this person, I sincerely hope we can do it. The article points to suspicions, not proof. That is, unfortunately, very far from making a case. Any nation hostile to us can “suspect” anything they want about any US citizen but we would not be too happy about that country detaining that US citizen (and, certainly not, “interrogating” them in questionable ways.), unless they can provide evidence that support detainment and incarceration. It would be naïve to assume that none of the detainees at Guantanamo harbor ill feelings towards our country (certainly not now.) An unknown number of them may harbor ill intent. Whether that intent could (or ever has) translated into any action that poses a threat to our security is up to us to PROVE.Our government, under Bush-Cheney, had plenty of time to do so and, quite honestly, so has our government under Obama. It is time for us to ante up and, if we can’t, to stop compounding mistakes made in the past and create new strategies. We need to develop better ways to deal with the terrorist threat. I believe that America has the capacity to do that. Accomplishing that goal will require intelligence, will and commitment on our part. Keeping Guantanamo as a “dumping ground” should not continue to be “Plan A.”

    • Steve Wolfe says:

      I think we have another answer, which is called the drone program. No indefinite imprisonment, no torture, no trial.

  23. Van says:

    Great article, Pierre. I came to it late but it’s the best thing I’ve read about the everlasting shame of Guantanamo. How you bear up under the rightwing extremism evidenced in most of these comments is beyond me. I know Florida is full of tea party imbeciles and I suppose many of them weigh in here, just to keep you annoyed. It’s appalling.

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