Opinion: What To Do About A Problem Like Gitmo

Once upon a time there was a place in the no man land of Cuba. It housed a military prison. One ruler decided that those who he and his friends said were evil and mean from other lands had to go there. Another man came riding in on a white stallion….

And there the fairy tale ends.

Closing Guantanamo Bay is a problem. Those that have resided in it’s walls for the past six to seven years aren’t all innocent. Those who were innocent when they arrived may have lost that innocence a long time ago. What we have now is a prison filled with men who were never convicted and probably just a bit ticked off.

And no one really wants them back.

The United States sure doesn’t want the former detainees walking down Main Street.

Why would anyone else want what could be a person hardened by years of being detained walking down their streets.

But these detainees have to go somewhere. And that’s where Obama and crew comes in. Too many years late. Too many years of torture by a nation that used to stand on freedom. Too many years of terror visited upon those that terrorism was already a way of life.

Are these men too damaged to return to a ‘normal’ life?

As the Christian Science Monitor quotes Mark Denbeaux, a law professor at Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, N.J.

“Everyone is looking for a perfect solution to an intractable pair of choices,” Mr. Denbeaux says. “There is no magic bullet.”

Gitmo is the opposite of what the Geneva Convention said to do with war criminals. These men were not given due process. These men were tortured. So now what to do with the real criminals after they suffered criminal actions? How do you separate the confessions that came from hours of torture and the truth? How do you justify the utter lack of the Constitution when now trying to use that same Constitution to process those stay behind the barbed wire?

Take Khaled Shaikh Mohammed. He admitted to being the mastermind behind 9/11. He was admitted that after waterboarding. So when was he telling the truth?

What about the alleged 20th hijacker of 9/11, Mohammed Qahtani. He faced severe isolation, sensory deprivation, stress positions, and sexual humiliation at Gitmo. How do you counter that with a legal processing?

George Bush said he was a dangerous man. That could be the truth. His lawyers say let him go to a rehab program in his native Saudi Arabia. He still sits in a cell at Gitmo even after Susan Crawford, the top military commissions official at the Pentagon, refused to authorize military commission charges against him.

At the end of the day these detainees have to go somewhere. If they are returned to their countires they will have to be tracked. Mark Denbeaux, a law professor at Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, N.J. believes that may be the best solution in terms of national security. If these men really are the terrorists that have been claimed that they are they will return to their roots. If there are trackers on them then the trackers will be able to obtain real time information from those terror groups.

“To me, released detainees are a window into the world that is out there, and if we are not looking through that window it is a waste,” Denbeaux says.


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