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Day One For President Obama: Start Shutting Down Guantanamo Bay

November 10, 2008

There is a strong need for Barack Obama to hit the road running when he takes the oath of office on January 20th.  Not only does the nation require a captain guiding economic policy, but we also must have swift and clear signals sent around the world that this is a new begining in international affairs.  Once again it needs to be made known that America is not above the law, or international norms. 

I think it essential that Guantanamo Bay be closed.  This was one of the most dreadful examples of presidential over-reach by George Bush, and ranks among the worst in modern history.  Guantanamo Bay cast a black eye on America that was seen and understood by all around the world.   The base holds roughly 260 prisoners, and there needs to be a process put in place that will allow the closure of this base.  As many have noted this place is a gift that keeps on giving to those who wish to use it as recruiting tool among radical elements in the Middle East.  It has done us no good, and only brought shame.

It has been noted that the Obama team is already looking to move most, if not all, of the prisoners out of Guantanamo Bay.  If the people at the base are not charged with something they should be released.  It they are charged, then let the U.S. court system handle the matter.  There might be a few who are in fact ‘high-level’ detainees, and some conservatives argue they need to be dealt with through the special court designed by the Bush Administration for this propose.  I am highly dubious of this specially crafted court, and the mission it holds.  I want to see more accountability and openness with this military tribunal process.  And I think the world expects the same.

There will be a hell of a backlash for doing the right thing.  But Guantanamo Bay must be closed, and the prisoners dealt with in American courts.

The process must start on Day One of President Obama’s time in office.

Day Two……a ban on torture….but that is another post.

5 Comments
  1. November 14, 2008 5:05 PM

    Wow.

    It seems from a lot of the comments here that the terrorists have succeeded in doing two things: 1) instilling a new kind of fear in the American people, and 2) steering America and some of its population away from the very things that we supposedly stand for as a country. In short, the terrorists have won the war if Americans really do think like some of the comments here would suggest.

    Before I read the comments, what I was going to say was this: both McCain and Obama agreed on a couple of things. Immigration (more or less) and closing Guantanamo as quickly as possible. Given that both of them ran as being independent from their party, a sign of change, and working across the aisles, I would be surprised if Guantanamo makes 2012. When both candidates agree on something, getting it done is usually a good way to heal wounds and move toward effective government.

  2. Marion permalink
    November 11, 2008 7:13 PM

    I agree, this place must be closed, but where to send the detainees? Some, our courts have already processed and can be released but Bush won’t let them go…what now?

    Others can also be released but their countries don’t want them back and no one wants to give them asylum? What now? No one would like to see them made citizens of USA? what now?
    A puzzling dilemma with no real solution for anyone.

  3. November 11, 2008 11:43 AM

    Ferrell, the trouble with Guantanamo is not “Terrorism as a mere crime” but rather…

    “The White House has reacted angrily after a judge ordered that 17 Chinese Muslims held at Guantanamo Bay should be released into the United States.

    District Judge Ricardo Urbina said the US could not hold the 17 as they were no longer considered enemy combatants.

    The Uighurs were cleared for release in 2004 but the US says they may face persecution if returned to China.

    The White House said the ruling could set a precedent that would allow “sworn enemies” to seek US entry.”
    – BBC News (7 OCT 08)

    So even people CLEARED FOR RELEASE are kept in cells. THIS type of action is how our own country backstabs itself! Imagine if it was YOUR family. CLEARED but still confined. Is it a mystery that such people would be held up as a banner for terrorist recruitment? Am I the only person who finds the “sworn enemies” statement reminiscent of WWI anti-German sentiment and the continued confinement reminiscent of Japanese Internment camps of WWII? History has shown us many paths. Some should never again be followed.

  4. November 10, 2008 7:31 PM

    You are assuming that all those in Guantanamo Bay are terrorists. They have never been charged with anything.

    See my point.

  5. ferrellgummitt permalink
    November 10, 2008 5:58 PM

    So, closing Guantanamo would be saying Terrorism is a mere crime right up there with bouncing checks and being found with a bag of pot? If we let them go, do you think they are going to get jobs at Wal-Mart and start a family? No, they would point their asses back to Afghanistan or Pakistan, catch with their betheren and plot other ways to kill infidels and get their 72 virgins….

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