|May 21, 2009|
|Obama Enables Nonsense About Gitmo Prisoners Roaming Streets of U.S.|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|Do Republicans really think prisoners freed from Guantanamo Bay are going to wind up roaming the streets of America? Give me a break!|
Legal giant Mitch McConnell frets that some of the 240 detainees are going to wind up in Kentucky, possibly plotting dark deeds for the 2010 Derby. South Carolina's Lindsey Graham wants Gitmo shut, but demands that its current inmates stay far from the Palmetto State. Does Graham believe suspected terrorists are hankering to enjoy the surf and golf at Myrtle Beach?
The GOP grandstanding about threats posed from the Gitmo crowd is the ultimate NIMBY argument.
It also is utter nonsense. The Cuban prison complex must be shut down ASAP to remove the giant stain on Americaís reputation. Closing Gitmo is step one to recovery.
President Obamaís foot-dragging on developing a plan to shut Gitmo enables the Republicans to lodge their complaints. He needs to get his act together. Itís beneath the dignity of a superpower like the U.S. to go bended-knee before allies, begging them to take a detainee or two or three off our hands. As Colin Powell warned about U.S. responsibility in Iraq, if you break it, it's yours. Guantanamo is America's responsibility. We scooped 'em up, we have to jail 'em here.
If this country does anything right, it is running prisons. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate and biggest prison population in the world. More than 2.3M Americans are in jail. China, which has four times more people than the U.S., has 1.5M people in prison.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons runs super-maximum security facilities throughout the U.S. ADX Florence (Colorado) is in known as the "Alcatraz of the Rockies." Nobody has ever escaped. More than 50 percent of Florence's 430 prisoners have either killed an inmate or prison guard elsewhere. Those tough hombres are kept in 23-hour solitary confinement. Florence has an "ultramax" section with 24-hour solitary confinement, offering no human contact whatever. It is a living nightmare. Home-grown terrorist Eric Rudolph, the Olympic Park bomber, wrote a letter to a Colorado Springs newspaper in '06 in which he called his Florence home a place that inflicts misery and pain.
Florence or another federal Supermax facility could house the Gitmo crowd and make America more secure. Wouldnít you rather have suspected terrorists locked up in Florence, rather than in a slammer in Belgium or Holland? Thatís a good question for Republicans.
An honest answer would put an end to the childish blather about Gitmo terrorists threatening America. The Cuban camp, as an inspiration to future terrorists, presents much more of a threat to America.
(Image via Sun-Sentinel)
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