WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has declared his intentions to shut down the controversial Guantanamo Bay detention center within the next year. Obama has also ordered U.S. intelligence operatives to cease all torture proceedings while dismissing all overseas secretive C.I.A. prisons as illegal. Obama issued a 120-day suspension of prosecuting activities beginning on Thursday, January 22 – enabling the President to review the complete system along with individual cases.
The rhetoric arrives as a total reversal and stark retaliation against Bush Administration terror policy. Logistically, the full mandate may very well not come to pass and I must speculate that a level of compromise is in order. The camp and atrocities against humanity are to be unquestioningly eliminated while preserving strategic U.S. intelligence and defense.
George W. Bush established the detention center at the U.S. Guantanamo Naval Base located along the southeast coast of Cuba as a means to quarantine dangerous radicals, terrorists, and various threats to U.S. security in the wake of September 11. The military prosecution, blatant isolation from the international community, and grim realities of torture tactics have emerged as yet another global embarrassment pertaining to U.S. foreign policy.
The original military tribunals have been described as kangaroo court-like mockeries of justice that allow for hearsay, testimony granted through “coercion,” and for conviction rulings based upon evidence that the defendant is not permitted to observe. The Supreme Court was to later rule these proceedings as unconstitutional, granting Guantanamo captives the right to challenge their respective incarcerations in federal court.
The detention center is marred with alleged reports of group suicide, beatings, abuse, and the outright humiliation of detainees.
Even George W. Bush has argued that Guantanamo must be closed at some point.
What is to be done with the 600 or so captives at this base?
Although American citizens observe the right to a trial by peers – these individuals fall outside of U.S. jurisdiction as they are held offshore. Also, public hearings would challenge our nation’s ability to procure relevant intelligence due to the exposure of evidence that may be traced backwards to particular sources. Ultimately lifting the veil of secrecy would throw the fate of these defendants into the bloodthirsty clutches of a U.S. citizenry still wounded from the 9-11 disaster.
Trial publicity of any kind would be nothing short of a “guilty as charged” spectacle at home and promulgate ever more outrage abroad directed towards Washington. We shall intimate that the most defiant lot of defendants would emerge as legitimized martyrs in the eyes of prospective cells of radicals hellbent upon inflicting further doom upon the West.
The 245 suspects held at Guantanamo Bay should be tried under the international laws specified by the Geneva Conventions that preserve basic levels of humanity even amidst periods of war. Although the detainees are alleged threats to our U.S. citizenry – terrorism has morphed into a coordinated, worldwide assault that knows no boundary.
Court proceedings will divide these defendants into three groups: not guilty, guilty – but no longer of any threat to U.S. security, and the absolute menace to society verdict. Obviously, innocents must be released and returned to their respective homelands. Any end proclamation of guilt presents a daunting challenge to the Obama Administration, regardless of one’s potential to incite further damage. Cagey, old time hard liners may perpetuate the cycle by supplying training guidance in exchange for diminished reserves of physical capacity.
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11th attacks awaits in queue for a trial per the aforementioned mandate. What is to be done with this menace in response to a guilty verdict?
Certainly, no international sovereignty would accommodate this mad man within their borders. Also, confining this radical responsible for the shocking collapse of our landmark Twin Towers into Ground Zero mayhem within the U.S. Federal prison system would be comparable to a death sentence. The ridicule, intimidation, and punishment at the hands of his fellow Angola or San Quentin prisoners may very well devalue Guantanamo horror stories towards a Martha Stewart bid cakewalk.
The U.S. Constitution forbids “cruel and unusual punishment” and I am doubtful that our Nation under God would wish to legislate itself as creator at the Federal level.
Perhaps these looming antagonists to Homeland Security should be detained amidst an international network of top-secret C.I.A. detention facilities or one central offshore location. Cuba is only 90 miles from the state of Florida and is already home to a U.S. Naval Base with the requisite infrastructure.
Does this sound familiar?