« Home

Worst of the Worst

That was how former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once characterized the men held at the prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. For years we were told how dangerous these men were. How they were "vicious killers" who would stop at nothing to kill as many Americans as they could, even chewing through their own restraints if necessary. The need to keep them locked up seemed obvious.

But now the AP has found that of the hundreds of men transferred to various other countries, many of them were subsequently set free. How can this be you might ask? How could these countries just let these men go? Don't they know how dangerous they are, as we have been told by our leaders for the past five years?

Or is it more likely that this "worst of the worst" rhetoric was just that: a baseless attempt to demagogue the American public into accepting the establishment of a facility that has since become a blight on this country. No doubt there are some at Gitmo who would wish to see harm come to Americans. But we should not let that change who we are: a nation that stands for justice for all, even for the worst among us.

Life for those still at Gitmo will be getting harder. The warden, Rear Adm. Harry B. Harris, said of these men "They’re all terrorists; they’re all enemy combatants". One wonders if this is how the Admiral thinks of men like Badarzaman Badar, now a free man in Pakistan who said of his time at Guantanamo "I can't wash the three long years of pain, trouble and humiliation from my memory. [..] It is like a cancer in my mind that makes me disturbed every time I think of those terrible days."

If only the same were true for this administration.

More from Jane Hamsher, The Heretik, and Liberty Street.

(Filed at State of the Day)

I thought this administration was against "catch and release" programs...

Post a Comment