Because “terrorists” have superpowers, and no prison cell can possibly hold them! Posted on February 4, 2009 by transitionland How Rush Limbaugh and like-minded legislators think of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay: Omar Khadr escapes from his cell A badly-needed dose of reality. Share this:ShareTwitterPinterestFacebookTumblrPrintEmailRedditLike this:Like Loading... Related
Myth 3 is definitely wrong, based on recent reports of over 60 detainees returning to terrorism.
The question is, what to do with these detainees when we let them go? Other countries won’t take them…so do we want them on our streets?
You’re entirely correct, smellytourist.
The only option are; 1) keeping them in Gitmo, 2) sending them back to Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, etc, and 3) simply letting them go free in downtown New York with ten bucks and a pat on the back.
Nope, no other possibilities spring to mind.
Your facts are wrong. I see where you got it though. The Bush people threw this number around and everyone repeated it:
Terrorism expert Peter Bergen analysed the list of names released by the Pentagon and placed the “recidivism” rate around eight actual people taking part in terrorist activities, not 60; which amounts to a recidivism rate of 1-2%. (U.S. prisons are upward of 60%.)
Mark Denbeaux has done the most detailed actual analysis of the Pentagon’s claims, compared to the press corps’ willingness to take it at face value:
Click to access propaganda_numbers_11509.pdf
The numbers are completely inconsistent to themselves. They’ve jumped from 50 down to a dozen back up to 30 and now 60, all of which are unprovable due to either partial or incorrect releasing of names.
Besides which, the government’s definition of “returning to the fight” is specious. It includes:
-Being in a commercial documentary about Guantanamo Bay
-“[speaking] critically of the government’s detention policy”
-Writing an opinion piece in the New York Times arguing for protection of habeus corpus.
-As well as militant actions against the Russian and Turkish governments which are really quite separate issues from the U.S. “global war on terror.”
The government numbers are unsupportable propaganda. Luckily for the Bush administration, most Americans don’t see terrorism experts like Bergen or actual quantitative studies on their local news. Consequently, that 61 number is all over the damn media, even while the evidence is absolutely zero. If the state doesn’t provide proof (it’s always “national security reasons,” isn’t it?) then what reason do we have to trust a set of fluctuating, politically-inflammatory numbers cited by an administration with an historically terrible record of truth-telling? If the Bush administration taught us anything, it’s the need to return to an evidence-based model of governance and politics; put the “verify” back in Reagan’s dictum.
SO, there are bad apples at Gitmo. Undeniably. But there are also examples of successful prosecutions for terrorist activities in American courts: the blind sheik, Moussoui, “shoe bomber” Richard Reid, Ahmed Ressam. Obviously the Obama administration is working on moving these trials from Guantanamo to an alternative structure, probably not “regular” American courts but something.
The current system at Guantanamo is not only constitutionally incorrect and a violation of human rights law, it simply DOESN’T WORK, as evidenced by the paucity of convictions among hundreds of detainees over the past two Presidential terms. If your goals as a government are to convict actual terrorists of actual crimes, bring these crimes out into the public eye, and show both your own people and the world the fairness of your system swiftness of justice, well, Guantanamo has been a spectacular failure on all counts.
Yes, there is a middle-ground between the current Guantanamo system and this absurd, specious false-choice rhetoric about some sort of al-Qaeda foster care (let’s give them homes in the suburbs, and ponies!) The political right is living in a television fantasyland where heroic Americans either lock away these baaaaaaaaaad men (all proven to be such beyond a reasonable doubt) or the ACLU will give them arugula sandwiches and send them off in explosive-packed Prius’ with maps of Manhattan and copies of “The Anarchist Cookbook.”
If only life were so simple.