Our wonderful Congress has just voted, almost to a man (the Senate vote was 90-6) to deny the administration funds for closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Their primary argument seems to be, We don't want those people in our constituency.
This is a disgrace. Guantanamo is a mess; the United States made the mess; it is our responsibility to clean the mess up. Isn't that one of the things we're supposed to have learned in kindergarten? But the mere possibility that some of the people we've kept in jail in Gitmo for what, over seven years now? That these people might possibly be kept in jail in the U.S. seems to have Congress spooked. I think what really alarms them is the possibility that these people might be released in the U.S. - maybe even in their constituency.
So, under what circumstances would they be released? Well, say there was no evidence that proved that they were "enemy combatants." (Whatever that is.) Like, maybe we've kept innocent people in jail for over 8 years?? If we have, shouldn't we admit it, apologize, and let them go home?
Nobody is suggesting that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is going to be released for lack of evidence, but he isn't the only person being held there. I remember reading that some representative from Kansas actually argued that they didn't want Gitmo detainees transferred to Leavenworth. Come on - you're afraid they'll break out of Leavenworth??
We're supposed to be a nation of laws, or at least so I remember from my civics class. The Bush administration's greatest sin was to declare itself above the law; and for our own sake, we should apply our own laws to the detainees in Gitmo, allow them to defend themselves in open court, and release them, if there's no evidence that they wronged us. Or jail them in the U.S. if there is. And in the case where they can't go home - I'm thinking of the Uighurs, who will be in dire danger from the Chinese government if they return home - we owe it to them to let them settle here. We owe it to ourselves, to prove to ourselves and the world that we are ruled by laws, and we truly regret what we did at Guantanamo Bay.