Jewish World Review June 8, 2005 / 1 Sivan,
Gitmo is a necessary evil
Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., thinks that the United States' detention
facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, "has become the greatest propaganda tool
that exists for recruiting of terrorists around the world." Biden told ABC's
"This Week" that "we should end up shutting it down, moving those prisoners.
Those that we have reason to keep, keep. And those we don't, let go." Biden
wants Congress to appoint a commission to study Guantanamo, but the ranking
Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee seems to have no clue what the
practical consequences of his suggestion would be.
Since January 2002, when the United States began detaining at Guantanamo Bay enemy combatants captured in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other fronts in the war on terror, critics have complained of human rights abuses. Last month, the secretary general of Amnesty International compared Guantanamo to the Soviet gulags, a charge that can only be described as obscene. From 1929 to 1953, 18 million people were imprisoned in the Soviet slave labor camps. The gulags' horrors have been documented by their most celebrated inmate, Nobel Prize-winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and most recently by JWR columnist Anne Applebaum in her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "Gulag: A History." Men, women, even children guilty of nothing were sent to camps in Siberia where they were worked often literally to death. Applebaum writes that "[p]risoners were also locked in punishment cells until they died of cold and starvation, left untreated in unheated hospitals, or simply shot at will for 'attempted escape.'"
One of the techniques terrorists employ is to allege torture and
mistreatment when they are captured, regardless of whether it is true. The
U.S. military has confiscated training manuals that outline what a prisoner
must do. One such manual seized in a Manchester, England, raid instructed al
Qaeda operatives in these important lessons: "1. At the beginning of the
trial, once more the brothers must insist on proving that torture was
inflicted on them by State Security [investigators] before the judge. 2.
Complain [to the court] of mistreatment while in prison." With U.S. military
tribunals about to hear cases involving 15 Guantanamo detainees, we should
be prepared for an onslaught of torture propaganda.
Since Sen. Biden wants those at Guantanamo moved or released,
maybe he'd like a special, maximum-security wing built at the Delaware
Correctional Center in his home state to house the approximately 540 enemy
combatants now held off-shore in Cuba, but I doubt it. Nobody wants these
dangerous men in their backyard, and only the foolhardy would suggest
letting them go. Guantanamo is a necessary tool in an unconventional war
that continues to threaten American and others'
JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)