The Talking Dog

May 26, 2008, Stuck wth it...

Thus sayeth SecDef Robert Gates with respect to America's excellent hospitality facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, because as he sees it, in the case of 60 or 70 people who have been arbitrarily held for the last six and a half years, their home countries either won't take them, or worse, might actually not arbitrarily jail them themselves, and they might end up like, you know, that guy who was released and like became a suicide bomber and sh*t; Andy has more on that particular bit of Pentagon propaganda. [Gates and Joint Chiefs Chair Adm. Mullen also noted many of the other things we are "stuck with" including the Iraq War... one might wonder at some point why this nation's military is deployed in over 120 countries in the first place... no, better not ask such questions...]

Of course, back at GTMO, we might actually consider giving these guys, you know, fair trials or otherwise non-rigged opportunities to demonstrate that we shouldn't continue to hold them, assuming that we should have ever held them in the first place, considering that we have already released around 500 of the nearly 800 held there as arbitrarily as they were first held. I understand that this is crazy talk, of course.

My current reading is of former GTMO guest Murat Kurnaz's book (his lawyer Baher Azmy is interviewed here). I recommend it highly, as even for those of us who think we are familiar with the actions taken in the name of our "security," we can still continue to learn more, whether it be of the outright torture (Kurnaz says he received electric shocks, hanging from hooks and waterboarding while in American custody, albeit at Kandahar rather than at GTMO itself), or of the sheer pettiness of day to day detention of men who were handed over for bounties because they fit certain stereotypes (Kuraz from Germany = Atta from Germany, for example; he went for $3,000)... sadly... there is always more to learn on this.

We also learn that, as outrageous and immoral as the incredible wasted effort that went into tormenting so many completely innocent men is, the bigger outrage (if possible) is that the entire exercise of holding them in the first place was simply a giant kabuki to make a not-very-bright-and-scared-sh*tless-as-it-was American public believe that their government "was doing something... anything" to protect them. (And being a kabuki, there's no possible way of admitting that... and hence, even as the government plans releases and pitches other countries to take these men, it repeats the "worst of the worst" canard.)

And so... it seems... we're stuck with GTMO. And the abuses in the war on terror. And everything else we've come to love about the Bush Admin. At least for the next 238 days or so.

Deep sigh.