Gitmo's Gotta Go
Britain's top lawyer said publically today what more and more lawyers, judges, diplomats and politicians are saying privately-- that the continuing existence of the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay is "unacceptable." British Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith in a speech said "the historic tradition of the United States as a beacon of freedom, of liberty, and of justice deserves the removal of this symbol."
And the US response? State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters this afternoon that America "at some point in the future" would "like nothing beter than to close" the prison where hundreds of war-on-terror suspects have been held since September 11, 2001. "Nobody wants to be a jailor for the world..." McCormack said, "but the fact of the matter is that the people are dangerous people" and "one thing we don't want to do is release people now who might at some point in the future end up on the battlefield facing our troops..."
The problem, of course, is that these suspects are part soldiers, part criminals, and part innocent bystanders and the process in place to figure out who is who and what is what is not nearly as good as it needs to be-- for the US and for the individuals involved. And when you add to that institutional chaos the fact that many of the countries of origin of the Gitmo detainees have been squirrely about committing to treating their countrymen fairly if and when they return and you get an unwanted prison holding unwanted prisoners creating an unwanted and unwelcome symbol for America . You know it's bad when our best friends in this war, the Brits, come out bluntly and say enough is enough.
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