The emergence of a former Guantánamo Bay detainee as the deputy leader of Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch has underscored the potential complications in carrying out the executive order President Obama signed Thursday that the detention center be shut down within a year.
The Right’s reaction has been predictably wrong. lacking in the slighest hint of knowledge or logic about the issue. The far Right American Power Blog, in a desperate search for adjectives, Dose of Reality on Guantanamo Detainees
Sometimes the right thing to do (the Bush program) is so intuitively obvious that the warped opposition of the netroots hordes signifies nothing less than abject Bush derangement and the pursuit of raw nihilist power.
Posted by Donald Douglas at 9:12 PM
The Bush program was to hold people that are suspects, indefinitely without charge. Which embodies a nihilistic policy straight out of the old Soviet Union. The NYT ‘news’ article reeks of sensationalism. It is not in fact President Obama’s policy to let the doors open and let the occupants of Gitmo make a run for it. (This man has, according to eyewitness acounts committed an especially heinous crime, murdering several children. He will be put in a clean cell, given humane treatment and go to trial. That is what modern civilized countries do. If humane treatment encourages crime then the Right should be campaigning to have Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s sentence rescinded. The prisoners at Gitmo will be handled more in accordance with America’s traditional commitments to the rule of law, described here by Sen. Russ Feingold(D-WI) – A Great Start to Restoring the Rule of Law
One of the phrases you hear a lot in Washington, DC, is “the devil is in the details,” and that is certainly true with respect to many of these issues, especially the closing of Guantanamo. Under the new orders, detainees will essentially be categorized into 3 groups: (1) those to release or transfer to other countries, (2) those to prosecute in civilian or military courts, and (3) those we can’t release but can’t try. An interagency panel, led by the Attorney General, will make these determinations based on an individualized review of each detainee and will determine lawful means for dealing with individuals in the third category, consistent with the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and the interests of justice.
A nation doesn’t stop trying to be just. Stop trying to live up to its ideals because a few people take advantage of them. That would be truly deranged; save the tax payers some money send all the judges and police home and issue everyone a gun and a noose and let everyone go at it – again another nihilistic notion that the Right maliciously or inadvertently promotes. Spencer Ackerman makes the same point in this post, Problems And Pseudo-Problems With Closing GTMO
It directs a screening process to determine which detainees ought to be released; which ought to be repatriated to their home countries’ legal systems; which ought to be sent to a third-party country’s legal system; and which ought to be prosecuted by the United States. Admittedly, no screening process can eliminate with 100 percent certainty the possibility that a dangerous man won’t be released. But there’s recidivism in the U.S. prison system as well, and no one considers that an argument for indefinite detention.
Spencer also points to this story as a reminder of what some of the detainees are and are not,
The CIA program’s original scope was to hide and interrogate the two dozen or so al Qaeda leaders believed to be directly responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks, or who posed an imminent threat, or had knowledge of the larger al Qaeda network. But as the volume of leads pouring into the CTC from abroad increased, and the capacity of its paramilitary group to seize suspects grew, the CIA began apprehending more people whose intelligence value and links to terrorism were less certain, according to four current and former officials.
House Minority Leader John Boehner(R-OH) has been something of the Right’s premiere drama queen for years now – breaking down in tears when he doesn’t get his way. Boehner is so detached from reality, especially that of everyday working Americans and how liberal democracies work, you have to wonder how he could say this, Boehner’s Alternate Reality: Gitmo Detainees Get ‘More Comforts Than A Lot Of Americans Get’
Boehner has not been paying attention. Just last week, Susan Crawford, the top Bush administration official in charge of deciding whether to prosecute Gitmo detainees, revealed that she had concluded that Mohammed al-Qahtani was tortured by the U.S. military and consequently could not be prosecuted.
Let’s say that Boehner has some little nugget of truth buried in his bizarre comparison. Over the last fifty years Republicans at the state and federal level have had the power and money to make many American’s lives better then the detainees at Gitmo and choose not to. Nope, in between emotional breakdowns John was genuflecting in that great wave of mindless obedience to the school of deregulation and social Darwinism. Boehner didn’t steer America off the cliff, but he helped with the navigation as much as he could.