Wednesday, February 4, 2009

maintaining momentum and closing Gitmo

After Obama announced his plan to shut down Guantánamo Bay, the opposition fired up with fear-mongering tirades and the like. The ACLU has released responsed to the "naysayers." Check it out:

Myth #1: Closing Gitmo and transferring detainees to facilities in the United States will endanger the public.

  • Several convicted terrorists have been prosecuted and successfully incarcerated in high-security federal prisons such as Colorado's Supermax facility -- without posing any risk to the public's safety -- including Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheik convicted in the first World Trade Center attacks.
  • As Glenn Greenwald notes, "If it were really the goal of terrorists to attack American prisons where their members are incarcerated and if they were actually capable of doing that, they already have a long list of "targets" and have had such a list for two decades."
Myth #2: The U.S. criminal justice system can’t handle prosecuting and holding terrorists.
  • Our justice system, although not perfect, is the best in the world. It is fully capable of handling sensitive national security issues without compromising fundamental rights.
  • The federal prison system has proven time and again that it is capable of holding convicted terrorists. Some of the convicted terrorists in federal prisons include Omar Abdel Rahman and Richard Reid, known as the 'shoe bomber.'
  • Dangerous criminals who have committed horrible crimes are locked up in prisons all over this country every day and nobody wages campaigns objecting to that. This is clearly a politically motivated fear-mongering effort from those who wish to perpetuate the Bush administration's failed illegal detention policies.
Myth #3: Detainees released from U.S. custody are rejoining al-Qaeda or 'returning to the battlefield.'
  • It was the Bush administration's detention and torture policies that made us less safe and more reviled by the Muslim world. Former President Bush's torture and detention policies certainly radicalized many individuals across the Muslim world, and President Obama's executive orders are a first step to defusing that hatred and giving us an America we can be proud of again.
  • Guantánamo and the sham military commissions are more likely to produce terrorists -- both those detained in Guantánamo and elsewhere -- than adherence to the rule of law and a return to American values.
  • The Pentagon’s own reports on detainees who have returned to the battlefield are unreliable and false according to its own data and prior reports -- sometimes including duplicate names, names of people who were never at Guantánamo and people who have never left their homelands

No comments: