Gitmo At Ten


It remains a blight, and one created by politics, not national security:

No one expected matters as deeply felt as 9/11 to remain entirely outside of partisan politics, but the idea of Gitmo was cast soon after the attack, amid a political campaign. Republicans made it an issue in the midterm elections of 2002, marketing it as a “robust” or “proactive” approach to defending the nation against terrorists. The message worked marvelously, scoring enormous gains for the G.O.P.

Unknown to most Americans, though, just before the fall vote, representatives of the CIA and FBI went to the White House to break the bad news: Gitmo had been filled not with dangerous Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, but with a bunch of nobodies. Political considerations plainly dictated the response. The government would not review the prisoners’ cases or grant releases, we were told; instead, “the president has determined that they are all enemy combatants.”

That's Cheneyism: the crudest politics with the dumbest results. And please don't forget Mitt Romney's pledge last time around: he'd "double Gitmo" as president. Y'all ready for that?

(Photo: Protesters march against the 10-year anniversary of holding detainees in Guantanamo Prison during a demonstration January 11, 2012 in front of the White House in Washington,DC. The White House insisted Monday that Obama was determined to close Guantanamo, which accepted its first prisoners on January 11, 2002, four months after Al-Qaeda flew hijacked planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. By Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)