Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gitmo WTF?!

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Bad news first: Today Robert Gates announced that the Guantanamo Bay detention center will likely remain open for a while, despite President Obama's pledge and efforts to close it within the first year or two of his administration. The obstacles to permanently closing the facility are about what we might expect - the GOP, and Tea Party candidates/congresspeople. Basically, we're not going to see any definitive actions on the issue for another two years. There have also been claims that the President might indefinitely detain some of Gitmo's prisoners.

I don't know about you, but I vaguely, almost indeterminately remember something about an executive order that required Gitmo to be closed by the beginning of THIS year... That clearly didn't go as planned.

So how exactly do they expect this all to play out? What now? Congress blocked funding for the (parts of the) Defense Authorization Bill that would have transferred prisoners out of the detention center. And still, Congress continues to refuse to fund much of anything. None of the other states, nor even countries want to take the prisoners. We all saw that fiasco with New York... As much as I hate to think that there's little that can be done at the moment, that might very well be the case. The US will continue to censor, and detain, and torture, until...?

I think what I find most disturbing about this is the fact that so many of our political leaders (and failed half-term political wannabes), news commentators, and various other people continually call for violence and denial of basic human, civil, and legal rights to those they determine are "enemies." Our justice system promises fairness, and "innocence until proven guilty," and protection from "cruel and unusual punishment"-- for ALL, even non-citzens. Yet again and again we see the same faces, same names, same voices calling for blood, for "whatever means necessary," condemning based on conjecture alone. The Guantanamo Bay detention center is very much un-American, and I would like to see it closed ASAP. Not soon, not later, not "in a while," but now.

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