The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Problems And Pseudo-Problems With Closing GTMO

To build on Daphne’s post about bogus numbers of terrorist Guantanamo parolees, The New York Times carries a kind of silly story about a former Guantanamo

Dexter Cooke
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Jan 23, 2009

To build on Daphne’s post about bogus numbers of terrorist Guantanamo parolees, The New York Times carries a kind of silly story about a former Guantanamo detainee turned Yemen-based Al Qaeda terrorist. If the story was merely an exploration of this former detainee, there wouldn’t be any problem. But it carries this gloss:

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.

If Obama’s executive order had been to let all the Guantanamo detainees go free, then this point would probably stand. But that’s not at all what the order says.

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 will be released. But there’s recidivism in the U.S. prison system as well, and no one considers that an argument for indefinite detention.

The Times piece notes that Republican House members intend to demagogue the issue, continuing to describe the detainees as the worst-of-the-worst, which is not and has never been true. (The real worst-of-the-worst were detained in secret prisons run by the CIA or foreign intelligence partners.) National Journal in 2006 ran perhaps the most comprehensive study of the Guantanamo population and concluded that “Much of the evidence against the detainees is weak.”

No one should expect a demagogue to be swayed by the facts. But the truth of the matter is that just as not all of the Guantanamo detainees are guilty, not all of them are innocent, either, and so a process to cull one from the other is the appropriate way to proceed. What isn’t ever appropriate, as the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled, is to hold them indefinitely and without due process, and the presence of a former detainee in a terrorist group doesn’t change that.

Dexter Cooke | He is an orthopedic surgeon who insists that a physician's first priority should be patient care. He specializes in minimally invasive complete knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures that reduce pain and recovery time. He graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina with a medical degree and a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine.

Related

Pentagon Shooter Exploited Gun-Show Loophole

John Patrick Bedell, who shot and wounded two police officers near the Pentagon earlier this month, bought at least one of his 9 mm guns at a Nevada gun show,

MA-Sen: 150 Conservative Bloggers Fan Out, Looking for Scandals

BOSTON -- The mysterious Election Journal blog, which first released the infamous 2008 video of two bumbling New Black Panther Party members waving nightsticks

MA-Sen: Brown Wins

BOSTON -- At 9:20, the first rumors of Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race started to work around the room. A moment later, Doug Flutie

MA-Sen: 66 to 19

BOSTON -- That, via Alex Isenstadt and Josh Kraushaar, is the number that defined the Massachusetts Senate race more than anything else. From the primary

MA-Sen: A Text Message From Scott Brown

BOSTON -- Having signed up for Scott Brown’s text message service for election day, I just got this text: Are you about to have lunch? It’s a great time to

MA-Sen: Out-of-Staters for Brown

BOSTON -- A surprising discovery at yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester was just how many people had traveled into the state to assist, in whatever way,

MA-Sen Photos: ‘Paint the Town Red! Croakley’s Dead!’

Below are some photos of yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester, the rally that Brown held to counter-program the Obama rally in Boston. The crush of

Menendez, Lautenberg to Continue BP-Lockerbie Investigation

Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, both New Jersey Democrats, will continue to seek details about BP’s alleged involvement in the release last year of

Net Investors Bullish on Palin’s Prospects for Staying on Ticket

Just for fun, the Internet prediction Website Intrade has opened a contract on whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be withdrawn as McCain’s running mate.

No Experience Necessary

Gov. Sarah Palin’s a middle-class hockey mom, but does that really qualify her to be vice president?

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy | twi.news@washingtonindependent.com