Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Gitmo"


President Barack Obama has decided to close the notorious holding facility known as Guantanomo Bay in Cuba within a year. I hope all of the right-wing crazies read me right... I said within a year. This will end another very embarrasing chapter in American history. This goes right up there with the detention camps of the 1940's that housed Japanese Americans, as far as I'm concerned.

In addition to closing "Gitmo" (as we called it in the military), he has ordered the closing of other secret detention centers around the world that were supposedly run by the CIA. This is a measure of good faith to the rest of the world and a bold statement early on in the Obama Administration that tells the world that the United States will no longer detain and torture individuals either at home or abroad in violation of our own constitution.

One thing I learned when I was in the U.S. Air Force and actually got to live in places outside of the United States was that the average American citizen has no idea of some of the things done in their name by our officials and representatives abroad. This is why some Americans who travel abroad our stung by the negative reaction they get from foreigners.



Former President George W. Bush told us that the United States does not torture and most of us took him at his word. He told us that Iraq was a direct threat to the world with it's weapons of mass destruction and we took him at his word for that too. After the tragedy of 9-11, we gave him and his administration a blank check to thrash the constitution by grabbing people suspected of being terrorists or having ties to terrorists off the streets and having them detained at places like Gitmo without due process of law and without much proof that they were guilty of anything.

Now don't get me wrong, I know that some of these detainees are indeed avowed members of Al Queda but, many may be no more than illegal immigrants or loyal American citizens of Arab descent. This is why he is giving the officials a year to go case by case and decide who is a terrorist and who is not.

We then have the problem of what to do with these people after all the sorting out has been done. I for one do not feel comfortable just deporting the guilty back to their country of birth. This leaves them free to try and come back to America again and really reek some havock. (Let's face it... it's not hard to get into this country and everybody knows it.) If these people are, in fact, guilty of terrorist activity, tried, and convicted in a court of law, then they should be locked up in an American federal prison just like anybody else guilty of a crime would be.

Then, what about the innocent? The ones who are just in the country illegally or the ones you simply can't prove are responsible for any wrong doing? What happens to them? I suppose you deport some and release the rest back on the streets and take your chances. This is not a chance that I feel safe taking but, what is the alternative?

We have already gone down one wrong road for too long. Can we afford to continue making the same wrong headed mistakes? As long as we keep places like Gitmo open and other places like it around the world, we give the real terrorists propoganda and justification for further attacks. This measure of good faith from the Obama Administration sends a different kind of message to the rest of the world...

"We'll extend our hand if you'll unclench your fist!"

21 comments:

James Perkins said...

As usual, you are on point.

Simon Bastion said...

You are correct in saying that this sends a good message to the international community, however I like you am concerned about real terrorists that might be mixed in with the many many innocent but unlucky folks caught up in that mess.

Tate2 said...

You can anticipate the Rush Limbaughs and the like having a lot to say about this, but you're right..it was the right thing to do in the end.

Grover Tha Playboy said...

Drop that science brother!

Jazzy said...

As incompetant as the last administration was...I wouldn't be surprised if none of the detainees
were Al Queda. Most of the really dangerous cats were probably smart enough not to get caught.

Swaggie said...

So glad you weighed in on this. You have the same concerns that I have, but you realize that he had to do this. Our standing in the international community has dropped to an all time low in the last few years. This is a good step to raising our stature.

Political Sean said...

Hey Keith,dropping by again...Keep bangin em out brother..I'm still reading,even if I don't comment all the time.

Sunflower said...

As usual another well thought out
blogpost.

Anonymous said...

Can't you people see how dangerous this is.? Wake up!

Political Sean said...

@anonymous- No, but we can see how stupid you are!

Opinionated Diva said...

Within one year? I think that's a pretty aggressive deadline, but I think it's definitely a step in the right direction and a move that will give him even more favor with the rest of the world.

Toni said...

We have indeed gone down the wrong road on this too long. I had no idea the U.S. had other places like this around the world..This is
truly shocking.

Vanessa said...

I was in the Air Force too..For eight years..I was stationed in Germany most of that time..I know exactly what you mean as far as the
"Ugly American" syndrome goes.

Lisa said...

Hey Keith..Very informative post as usual. I saw on CNN a week ago that Barack was going to close this place..I never thought it was a good idea having a place like this existing in the first place.

Angie B. said...

Gitmo and places like it were and are such a travesty to justice.
Bush and his guys were the most arrogant gangster administration I've ever seen.They never found a peice of the constitution that they didn't ignore did they?

Halo said...

Hey Keith, I applaud the Obama Administration for this, still I'm more concerned about our thrashed economy than I am any international good will at the moment..Charity begins at home..and I know he has a lot to undo..but I hope he starts on this economy first.Good Post just the same.

Mizrepresent said...

Keith, i believe he is doing the right thing...he must establish his own policies with regard to terrorism here as well as abroad. I wish too that he would check out and change some things going on in our justice system as well. I am proud of our President...and support him in his endeavors!

CurvyGurl ♥ said...

We could always send them to a ranch in Crawford, Texas...oops, did I say that?

Keith said...

@Curvy Gurl-LMAO @ U!

clnmike said...

I am impressed by how quickly he moved on this, but than again this was a no brainer.

How ever I do want to have an eye kept on the former prisoners, cause if they were not terrorists before they damn sure are willing to join now after going through all that.

Angel said...

Im delighted its closing!! You dont realise how happy I am!




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