A recent letter in my favorite Lexington morning paper expressed an opinion almost totally devoid of any factual basis, but one, I suspect, a lot of people share.
It’s about Gitmo, and the suspected terrorist we hold there—and have for the last dozen years.
First, almost none, if any, of them have been “convicted”, that is, had a trial with evidence presented, their side heard, and a verdict rendered. These people are all “suspect” and their actual trials may be years away..except for a few who have been found “innocent”, that is, the military and other US government agencies which brought them to our Cuban base have decided, after years of looking into their cases, there was a “rush to judgment” and these people actually are NOT terrorists. Problem is, in many cases, they can not return to their homelands. New governments there, old political and tribal feuds, etc would place their lives in serious dangers, and the US doesn’t want to make a second mistake. So these “innocents” languish there and have for YEARS while the US tries to find new homes for them Once in a while a little US diplomatic arm bending (likely infused with promises of aid and/or cash to these governments) and there’s a strange agreement whereby people from the boonies of Asia end up in Uruguay, or Samoa or someplace just like the home they knew in Afghanistan or Iraq!! Hey, , at least it’s better than a barbed wire prison cell..or so the US thinks. (What these “innocents” think we seldom hear because our government puts serious restrictions on their attorneys, if any, or social workers, and reporters who may talk with them.
And yes, after several years some of those cleared do find their way home, and pay back the US for a dozen years of prison life at Gitmo by actually, now, becoming terrorists Surprise!
Gitmo and the whole premise behind it may be worse that water boarding in the secret prisons of our “rendition” program. It is a blight on the American system of justice and the fair Play most Americans think this country represents. But to compare those few released with the terrorists of the Charlie Hebro tragedy, as the local letter did, is just plain wrong.
Gitmo’s prison and the people being held there should never have happened. But it’s continuation, year after year, is even worse. Those now there deserve “speedy trials”. (Have you heard that phrase before?) Those found guilty should be jailed; those found innocent should be compensated and set free.
This blight needs to end..but only after it is a major point of debate in the 2016 presidential campaign.
I'm just sayin'....