Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Politics Of Gitmo

The announcement by President Obama that he plans to close the terrorist vacation home in Guantanamo Bay Cuba has human rights groups rejoicing and Conservatives cringing. Liberals and human rights groups cite the damage that torture inflicted at Gitmo has caused to our reputation as a nation which has led to the recruitment of thousands of new terrorists as a few of the reasons that it must be closed.

Conservatives meanwhile claim that the closure will put hundreds of terrorists back into the "war on terror". They cite one Said Ali al-Shihri, a former Gitmo resident released in 2007 and now working with Al-Qaeda in the Middle East along with others whose current employment is questioned as reasons that it needs to remain open. So who is right?

I am sitting in the human rights group's camp but if anyone can give me valid answers to the following questions I might change my mind. (no one has for years so I doubt they will now)

1. If these 200 or so remaining "detainees" are in fact terrorists, why haven't they been charged with any terror crimes, some have been detained for 5 years or more?
2. If Gitmo isn't a prison but instead a prisoner of war camp for enemy combatants in the "war on terror" as some claim, why are they not following the Geneva Convention? I doubt waterboarding is an allowed activity.
3. Few people deny that Ali al-Shihri is now working with Al Qaeda, but can anyone tell me without any doubt that the poster child for the Conservatives to keep Gitmo open isn't now fighting against us because of his stay in Cuba and not in spite of it? Years of unlawful detention might cause one to be a tad bit angry...

Oh, and if citing evidence to answer any of the above questions, please refrain from using links to Joseph Farah or Worldnet Daily, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity etc. and instead try ones ending in .org or .gov.

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