Obama’s Promise That Congress Broke

Eli Lake checks in on Gitmo and the president’s pledge to close it:

“It’s incredibly difficult, and each year it gets more difficult,” one senior administration official working on transfer policy told the Daily Beast. This official said the biggest issue was having to certify that a detainee will not reengage in terrorism, but this official also said that new governments in the Middle East brought about by the Arab Spring have made it more difficult to gain assurances that detainees will be monitored after being released from Guantánamo.

Eli is right about the danger of transferring some detainees to places like Yemen. If they weren’t Jihadists before, they sure 6a00d83451c45669e20120a8714fc1970b-500wiwill be now. And Eli is also right that Obama’s persistence on this has been sadly lacking. (Calling the predominantly pro=torture group, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies “right-leaning” does not fit my or Reagan’s definition of “right-leaning”.)

I fear Gitmo will linger – unless new details emerge of unspeakable brutality and death by torture in the future as they have in the past (in a story that won the National Magazine Award). It was under the command of the war criminals Bush and Cheney America’s Room 101: a place where souls and psyches were broken by unspeakable terror in the war against … terror. It is a symbol of our unreason and our fear. And there are deaths called “suicides” which defy logical examination. I believe prisoners were likely tortured to death there – in a psychiatric laboratory for torture and brain-washing and war crimes.

Maybe if the truth were really able to come out, our shame would overwhelm our fear.

(Photo: Google Earth picture of a facility, allegedly known as “Camp No”, outside the perimeter of the main detention camp, where Gitmo guards say they saw prisoners being taken to on a regular basis.)