In its latest brilliant move on the "war on terror," the Pentagon has decided to put the best “spin” on the camp of largely Arab men who have been rounded up by U.S. military and intelligence service and held without charge in Guantanamo.
Incredulously, the Pentagon is dispatching 20 PA officers from the Wisconsin National Guard next month to Guantanamo to set the record straight.
Rick Morehouse, Commander of the 112th Mobile PA detachment, told the Associated Press the unit’s goal is to let the public know about the camp’s conditions. "The media of the world and families need to know what’s going on right now, not what happened six or seven years ago,” said Morehouse. The prisoners “are being treated very well.”
This blogger contacted Levick Strategic Communications, the firm hired by families of some of the detainees, for its take on the Pentagon’s effort to spruce up the image of the prison camp.
Gene Grabowski, a crisis pro at Levick, believes Morehouse is missing the big picture. He said:
“The point about prisoners being ‘treated very well’ is entirely beside the point. As our clients have said repeatedly over the past few years, it wouldn’t matter if the prisoners were being kept in a four-star hotel, their detainment without criminal charges is unjust. And the Supreme Court has said so—twice.”
The AP reports the military PA staff will include photographers and former broadcast/print journalists. They will produce newspapers and escort visiting reporters.
The U.S. is supposed to be the world’s beacon of liberty. The U.S. Government’s policy of throwing people in jail without charge flies against that noble image.
Or as Grabowski put its: “detaining people without their legal rights in Guantanamo for more than six years is immoral and illegal.”
PR is not the answer to Guantanamo. Shutting down the place is the correct way of dealing with the military’s big image problem.
(Photo: Amnesty USA)