by: the Common Constitutionalist
For years the refrain we’ve been hearing from the left has been to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Of course Gitmo isn’t just a prison – it’s a major military operational hub for the Caribbean theater, Central and South America. And frankly I’m not sure whether the left wishes to just close the prison or the entire base, which would be a huge mistake, but that’s a conversation for another time.
Those on the right have fought for it to remain open, arguing that we need some place to house these enemy combatants being that they are not conventional prisoners of war. The other argument is that we must have a facility, which is not on American soil, so as to not grant these dirtbags any civil or Constitutional rights and the fear is that once they plant their feet on American soil they must be treated like any other criminal.
I will not discuss the Constitutionality of the prison, the detention of “combatants” or of the “War on Terror” here. These are not the points of this article.
The left wants Gitmo closed, pure and simple. They care nothing for the potential ramifications of “freeing” the former and would-be-again terrorists. They just want it closed because they do.
First and foremost it’s because, as the ACLU puts it : “On his first day in office, President Obama promised to close the prison at Guantánamo within a year. With the clock ticking down in his second term, the president’s legacy is on the line.” It’s all about Obama. Everything is about Obama and protecting his precious legacy.
But then there is the tired argument that leaving Gitmo open actually aids in terrorist recruitment – that otherwise peaceful Muslims are just sitting around, maybe watching CNN, when a report comes on concerning the detention center. These peace-loving Muslims are so angered by the incarceration of their brethren that they all run home, take their fathers’ unregistered AK-47s and join al-Qaeda or ISIS. They never thought of killing infidels before, but the pictures of the detainees at Gitmo, not to mention the CNN reporter’s description of how poorly they are treated – how the United States has trampled their human rights, made them do it. Yes – that’s the way it happens.
In 2013 the Atlantic published an article entitled, “How Guantanamo Bay’s Existence Helps Al-Qaeda Recruit More Terrorists.”
In it they chronicle the times that Gitmo was mentioned or featured in al-Qaeda’s magazine Inspire as proof that the facility is a recruitment tool for terrorists. Interestingly the Atlantic mentions an essay in Issue 2 written by two former detainees who were released and found their way back to the terror group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Wait…What? Is this not exactly what the right has been saying all along – that if we release these “innocents” they will just rejoin a terror group hell-bent on killing more Americans? Yet there is not a single mention of that – no light bulb moment – nothing!
Just a couple of days ago Obama lectured us again on the evils of Gitmo. This time at a joint press conference with fellow socialist Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“With respect to Guantanamo,” said Obama, “in the same way that the rhetoric around refugees–suggesting that we should only allow Christians in, or suggesting that we should bar every Syrian applicant even if they are underage–in the same way that that alienates Muslim Americans who are our fellow citizens, our friends and our neighbors and our coworkers, as well as the entire world of 1.6 billion Muslims, Guantanamo has been an enormous recruitment tool for organizations like ISIL.”
Really? Funny thing about that – ISIS appears to disagree with our dear president’s assessment – as their latest issue of Dabiq, the ISIS propaganda magazine, never mentions Gitmo – not once. Nor does it mention “Donald Trump, who Hillary Clinton says is the biggest recruiter for ISIS.” Is does mention the killing of Iranian Shiites as apostates and their want to expand the caliphate into Afghanistan and western Pakistan, etc. But no Gitmo or Trump. Imagine that.
I’m torn on the Constitutionality of the detention facility, but for now I say, leave it open. Certainly don’t close the base. As for the left’s recruitment argument – that appears to be crap. The only ones joining these various terror groups due to Gitmo are the ones we release.