Thursday, June 22, 2006
Why Close GTMO?
I realize that this will be viewed as apostasy in some circles, but I must confess I remain very dubious of the increasingly frequent calls to close the base at Guantanamo.
I agree with you if procedures at Guantanamo were "regularized," the facility could continue to be used. But the sad thing is, Guantanamo in its current form has been used specifically to avoid all of this regularization. The surreal thing is the United States has always had the option of applying United States laws and judicial review at Guantanamo, but has avoided that strenuously. The continuing bad faith the government shows in treating detainees where the courts have ruled already is no cause for optimism.
I agree that it's pretty much irrellevent to the illegal treatment and abuse of the detainees. What's needed there is rigorous enforcement of the war crimes statute against the people responsible for the administratiion's criminal policies - starting with Bush, Cheney, Addington, and Yoo.
But I also think Guantanamo Bay should be returned to Cuba. The treaty is violation of the UN Charter etc.
As usual Charlie Gittings is rapid with the pertinent insights. Allow me to add a redesigned approach based upon a somewhat similar unresolvable prison matter, the detention in Krone camp of Mariel boatlifters, some of whom were former inmates before they rode the crest of the Cuban government's open door program in 1980. Some of the most difficult refugees to release were the known criminals. One program, evidently, was to connect the released known criminals with linkage to local social rehab programs in the area. I wonder if some of the Arab Americans who are involved in similar social safetynet endeavors could help acclimatize some of the Gitmo releasees. Downsizing what is occurring in Gitmo might be a forceful step toward winding down the worst of the confrontation. Krone Camp certainly was in the news a lot as many bright people tried to help the Immigration service to empty Krone of undesirable but undeportable refugees.
The idea needs some reworking.
While Gitmo is an occupied part of a foreign land, and even though Cuba would like to have it back in its entirety, addressing that substantial issue might detract from an effort to deal with the prisoners held there.
Perhaps the US supreme court justices currently writing the majority opinion in Hamdan have a differing view of how to bring justice to Gitmo. We should know that answer very soon.
Mariel boatlift genesis in Cuban history 1960-1980; written 2005 by college professor.
Release of marielitos to the refugee community, see page 32 of this 7MB pdf for the discussion of the Cuban community agencies becoming involved in managing criminals released onto the streets from Krone.
Agreed, but WP does want Gitmo closed, just not RIGHT NOW. As with those who want redeployment or even straight out withdrawal in Iraq, who really thinks that is really possible?
The focus on Gitmo, and away from other prisons -- known and unknown -- is especially problematic. Consider how so much focus is on Iraq as if Afghanistan is settled. The prison situation there is sadly but par for the course.
The only decent thing to do is to close it as soon as possible. Here is why.
The original rationale for Gitmo was to have a judicially inaccessible place where they could engage in cruel interrogations.
The second one was to have something useful for scaring people into submission. "If you don't cooperate with us we will ship you to Gitmo". To that end DoD published a lot of Gitmo photos showing truly atrocious, deeply inhuman treatment.
Neither of these works any longer.
Further interrogation of these people is useless (other than providing hand-on training for US interrogation personnel FBI, DoD, CIA and their doctors). Real interrogation is done these days in secret interrogation centers - who knows where. Plus shipping more people to Gitmo is politically not possible anymore primarily because of massive international outrage.
The only purpose Gitmo seems to be serving these days is to deflect attention from those other places.
The idea suggested here of shipping people held in Gitmo to US prisons is inhuman. This is because of gratuitous abuse anybody thought to be connected with 9/11 was subjected to in local US prisons and detention centers at the hands of US civilian guards. At least Red Cross comes to Gitmo from time to time.
If deflecting attention from other places is considered essential Gitmo will have to stay open despite massing damage this does to US interest in the world.
The only truly honest way to proceed would be transfer authority over those people to some sort of international body.
Let's face it neither the US government, or its judiciary can be trusted anymore to handle this situation decently.
Marty, the Supremes have ruled that the idea that Guantanamo is US territory is legal fiction. So you’re a little behind when you say “…GTMO should be closed only when we are prepared to house all of the detainees in domestic facilities:” We underhandedly annexed it. And as I see it, that’s reason enough to leave. But it makes false the notion that Guantanamo is not domestic territory.
I read you whenever you post. I know that you have a sense of right and wrong. So I can only conclude that you are ignorant of US/Cuba relations.
It was his assessment of the behaviors of the people in the Oriente that convinced Leonard Wood that the “uncivilized” Cuban were incapable of self-governance, in spite of what our Congress thought.
This so pained Good Cubans from the East that they have built their generations in response to that very affront to their dignity. (See the Castros.)
Marty, we don’t belong there. We should vacate and abandon the place lock, stock, and barrel.
But if a moral argument is not persuasive than at the very least we close it down because it, being tainted beyond repair, rips the rug out from under our arguments against Castro’s lack of due process.
That’s what Europeans are telling Bush.
I'd think twice before presuming that Prof. Lederman is ignorant of very much. He's been one of the most persistent and perceptive critics of the administration's illegal detainee policies.
Charley, I don’t think anyone reading Balkinization would object to your pointing us to the sentences from Lederman putting the detainees in the context of violating the dignity of Cubans.Post a Comment