Friday, January 11, 2008

Close Guantanamo Now!

It was six years ago today that the first prisoners were brought to Guantanamo. And in six years not one person has gone to trial for any crime for which they have been detained. What country does this?

If someone has committed a crime. Charge them and try them in a court of law. Present the evidence and allow them to defend themselves. That is the America I believe in.

775 people have been brought to this legal no mans land. 470 have been released without any charges. Including three British Muslims who were held for three years.

We should transfer them to the US and charge them with a crime. Or send them back to the country they came from. Only 5% of the detainees at Gitmo were actually captured by US forces on the ground in the war on terror. Most of the people were turned in for money, paid by the US, to villagers and local tribesmen settling old scores with rivals. That's how you go from 775 to 405. But this is not how America should behave. Colin Powell has voiced his displeasure saying "we have shaken the belief the world had in America's justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open and creating things like the military commission."

Even Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice favor shutting down Guantanamo.

It's been six years. Are we really going to have to wait for a new administration to come in and restore our shared American values? We are better than that.


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