Friday, May 22, 2009

Gitmo

Lifted from a "Quote of the Day" at Hot Air.

It's rather long but it carries with it the history of Club Gitmo and how it came into existence. As well as how it got smeared with the reputation it has now. From Commentary Magazine. I pulled a few choice snippets to get to check out. Arthur Herman even delves into the history of the loudest opponents of Gitmo too. Shockingly enough, they all seem to be extreme leftists of some degree or another. It's worth the time to read for yourself.

Then several strange things happened. Obama’s order “closing” Gitmo actually left it open for a year, ostensibly until new arrangements could be made for the 240 or so inmates still detained there—though Obama admitted privately it might have to stay open longer than that. Later, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that, far from being “the Bermuda Triangle of human rights” that Human Rights Watch’s Wendy Patten had dubbed it, Gitmo was in full compliance with the humane-treatment provisions of the Geneva Convention. Meanwhile, the military commissions, which Human Rights Watch and others groups had denounced as a travesty of justice, were only being suspended for 120 days, pending a review—and, indeed, following that review, will be reinstated almost exactly as they were before.
[. . .]
So Democrats were quick to embrace the thesis put forward by Seymour Hersh in his book Chain of Command: Even if Bush and Rumsfeld hadn’t actually ordered the abuses at Abu Ghraib, still, their “hard” approach to the war on terror, denying Gitmo suspects American-style civil rights and allowing coercive interrogations, had created an atmosphere in which torture was condoned and even common. Hersh attempted to make this explicit by pointing out that Gitmo’s former commandant, Geoffrey Miller, had been sent to Iraq to advise on interrogations in August 2003. Here was clear evidence, Hersh and others claimed, that the Bush administration had wanted to extend Gitmo’s “reign of terror” into occupied Iraq. But the opposite was true. Miller had been sent to Iraq precisely to make sure that American prisoner detention facilities there lived up to the rigorous standards applied at Gitmo under Miller’s tenure.
And what was the Bush administration’s response to these attacks on its own integrity and humanity, and that of the men and women working at Gitmo?

Nothing.
[. . .]
Meanwhile, Gitmo remains open, the unwanted orphan of the war on terror. Attacks on guards at Gitmo continue as before, sometimes as many as ten per week. However, human-rights groups and lawyers are just getting warmed up. They are now laying the ground for a similar legal assault on the American detention center at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, which they call Gitmo with a different zip code.

On April 15, detainee Muhammad al-Qahtani told al-Jazeera that he had been quietly sitting in his cell when soldiers burst into his room with a thick rubber or plastic baton. “They beat me with it. They emptied two canisters of tear gas on me,” he said, and claimed that after all this, they beat him again.

It is, of course, a lie. But it is of a piece with the entire Gitmo myth, which was constructed to ruin the Bush administration and blacken the reputation of the United States. The careful construction of this myth caused America to turn on itself in the midst of a still desperate struggle against Islamist terrorism. The consequences of this sea change in opinion may turn out to be measured not in political gains and losses by our major parties but in a revival of the fortunes of America’s foes.

No comments:

Post a Comment