Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Fat Lady Never Sings

Ten years ago today, the first prisoners arrived at Gitmo.
More and more came.
They were all too dangerous to be anywhere else.
They were all terrorists committed to killing Americans. Anywhere. Anytime.
There were enemy combatants not entitled to the protections of the Constitution, of Statutes, of the Geneva Convention or other treaties, or of International common law.
And that was OK, because there were no mistakes.  Every one who was there deserved to be, needed to be.  Without exception.  Without error.
We knew because the government told us so.  Just as we knew, because the government told us so, that they were treated with generosity and decency and full respect for their rights and their beliefs.
And waterboarding.
They could be released only when the war against the tactic of terrorism was over, when nobody, anywhere, could ever again engage in terrorism because the idea of it had been eradicated.
They could, that is, never be released.
There were hundreds and hundreds of them.
Then lawsuits were filed.
Some were released.
More were.  In fact, most were.
Because, well, they just were.
And some would be released if we could just find a place to send them because they did nothing wrong and posed a threat to nobody but having been in Gitmo - well, that was a warrant to torture or kill on their return to whereever.
Obama, of course, vowed to shut the place the down.  By the end of 2009.
Today, ten years to the day after the first prisoners arrived, there are still 171 of them there.
With no end in sight.
No light at the end of that tunnel.

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