You know, after listening to the news most of the weekend while I was painting, one would walk away with the impression that those incarcerated at Guantanamo (the really bad ones) possess some sort of superhuman strength, or are bulletproof, or something. All the talking heads are whining, "they're gonna return to the battlefield and kill Americans!"
WTF? They're men.
They can't fly, can't leap tall buildings, can't stop a speeding locomotive; their operations are mitigated by financing and logistics. They're not running home and getting the 'Hijacking Aircraft Made Easy Kit' out of the garage, only to hop on the next plane and fly it into one of our cities. I'm tired of the whining.
If these guys are really that good at their craft (and have unlimited resources), so good that all of our military, intelligence, and law enforcement resources can't deal with them if they decide to return to the life (which I seriously doubt), we should do what I said a week ago.
It's insane we're even having the conversation. We are the most powerful nation on Earth and it makes us look like a buncha cowards we are so terrified of a couple hundred people. For all the tough talk, we act like a nation of pantywaists.
Had we not incarcerated them, tortured and coerced them in our very own concentration camp, we might have been able to bring charges against them in a U.S. court. They'd have been sentenced to death or a life term in a Supermax prison and that would have been the end of it. They would have ended up being fuck toys and punching bags for the good, Christian, American terrorists (McVeigh, Rudolph, Kazinzky), and it wouldn't have bothered me in the least. There would have been no questions of evidence, or constitutionality, or torture. There would have been no questions of guilt.
This shouldn't be a big problem were it not for Neocon fearmongers and the news media who advance the story. I don't have a moral dilemma with killing the guys who are really bad; the ones whom we know were involved with the September 11th attacks. What does bother me is the 500 or so others who were caught up in our sweep, or sold out by their 'friends', who were subjected to our brutality and the loss of their freedom for years. The ends do not justify the means. In our fearful frenzy to 'protect Americans' we gave up our rights and morals and decided ruining the lives of innocent people was "acceptable collateral damage".
There is no problem with closing Gitmo. If there's admissible evidence (not coerced through torture), try them in a U.S. court and sentence them. If there's evidence inadmissible in the U.S., take them somewhere far away and kill them (quietly, and make sure the bodies are never found). If there's neither, let them go. Period.
The detention camp at Guantanamo is a boil on the ass of this country and it's time to lance it, once and for all. It does us no good to keep it running and closing it is an excellent first step in regaining our credibility in the world. The argument that these guys can't be released, and can't be incarcerated in the U.S., is a weak argument by those who enabled Bush to do whatever he wanted in the name of "keeping us safe". It is an argument used by those who supported and authorized torture during the Bush administration to keep themselves out of jail.
Hmmm ... Maybe there is a use for Gitmo after all? Can we set up a 'Presidential Wing'?