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Shopping With Khalid

Gabe Rottman,
Legislative Counsel,
ACLU Washington Legislative Office
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May 25, 2007

The Economist has this decent look at efforts in Congress to close Gitmo. It mentions a relatively mild Defense Authorization amendment by Jim Moran, D-Va., in the House that would require the administration to draw up plans within 60 days to deal with the Gitmo problem.Unfortunately, the article went to press before the real comprehensive “close-Gitmo” bill got dropped—the Harkin bill I wrote about yesterday. That bill gives the administration 120 days to transfer those charged to the maximum security Leavenworth Prison and deport the more than 100 hapless folks swept up in the fog of 9/11.In any event, I love the administration’s spin on this one, shilled on the House floor by Republican leader John Boehner (who I actually thought was a pretty nice fellow). From the Economist:

The House Republican leader, John Boehner, has already objected that the Democrats “are leading us down the road to importing dangerous terrorists into our local communities”, and the White House has threatened to veto any bill that blocks the detention of enemy combatants.

That’s such a load of bat guano, festering in the sun! That is the politics of fear taken to the nth degree. Democrats are leading us down the road of “importing” terrorists INTO OUR COMMUNITIES! It’s like you’d be walking around the mall and happen to spot Khalid Sheik Mohammed, looking like he did in that awesome mugshot (the one where he looks worse than Mel Gibson), grabbing a mocha and shopping for the latest season of Gilmore Girls on DVD.No! The idea is that we do what we should have done in the first place. You put these guys in the system, with all of the added security measures and special protective orders and in chambers hearings you need to protect confidential information and due process. You take the Gitmo detainees, release the 85 who HAVE ALREADY BEEN DEEMED NOT A THREAT, and either indict the remainder or return those whom you don’t charge to a country (preferably their home country) that won’t stick electrodes on their eyeballs.The spin against closing Gitmo is both offensive and dangerous. Gitmo poses a national security risk, not because of the people it holds, but because of its value as a propaganda tool to our enemies. We’ve tried al Qaeda-style terrorists before, and it’s worked. Believe me, if they close Gitmo, you’re not going to be sitting next to Osama Bin Laden, sans beard, one day at the multiplex.Geez, that stuff makes me mad.

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