Guantanamo Closing? Don’t Hold Your Breath

I never quite understood the logic behind the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. We have a base there where we flex our muscles at the Cubans. Okay fine, not much different than many other bases around the globe in that respect. But claiming that because it is not on US soil (as if a US base on foreign soil is not somehow our domain) therefore whatever is done there to prisoners of war – oh, sorry enemy combatants – somehow falls into a legal black hole just doesn’t hold water.

Apparently the administration is finding it increasingly difficult to defend this little act of legal gymnastics as well and as a result is, reportedly, nearing a decision on closing the detention center all together.

Senior administration officials said Thursday a consensus is building for a proposal to shut the center and transfer detainees to one or more Defense Department facilities, including the maximum-security military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where they could face trial.


At this point I would like to point out that the last time I posted anything of substance on this here blog it was right before the release of the Baker Hamilton Report. I was brimming with optimism over the prospects that George W. Bush could possibly override the remaining neocons within his inner circle and actually do something that would have the potential to produce real results in the mess that is Iraq.

I bring this up because as you are now well aware that not only did he not do what I had hoped, he took a page from Mr. I am not an entity within the executive branch, turned hard left and shot me right in the damned face. So, as you can imagine I am not holding out hope that this little tease will go anywhere.

Of course, were he to shut down the detention center at Guantanamo Bay it would have huge symbolic significance and little if no real impact on our ability to fight the war on terror. We have been slowly releasing many of the prisoners to their home countries over the past couple years – which assumes these “terror suspects,” held without charge and without access to family or legal representation were – how do you say – less than terrorists.

If many of these detainees are innocent (of what I am not sure because again, they were NEVER CHARGED WITH ANYTHING), as it appears likely the case, then moving them to Leavenworth or other state-side military facilities puts the Administration in a predicament. They would then be much more likely to receive trials, trials that would very possibly prove that they were treated horribly, most certainly tortured, and kept in conditions that would turn any normal human being insane for no good reason.

Since they have done everything in their power to avoid this for the past five and half years I am not holding my breath they will act any differently now. Of course, I would love them to prove me wrong.

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