Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What to do about Gitmo

The facts continue to embarrass the Harper government, who refuse to act to repatriate Omar Khadr from Gitmo. Today's news includes more documented evidence of torture there, including news of the FBI maintaining a "war crimes file" on activities there until ordered to close it in 2003. And the U.S. Secretary of Defence admitting before a Senate Committee yesterday that the U.S. wants to close Gitmo, but can't find takers for the prisoners who aren't being "tried" by the U.S.
The United States is "stuck" with its war-on-terror detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba because it cannot figure out what to do with prisoners who cannot be charged or set loose, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday.

Gates told lawmakers that he still believes that the prison should be closed, but has not found a way to do it.

"Senator, I think the brutally frank answer is we're stuck. And we're stuck in several ways," he told California Senator Dianne Feinstein.

He said the United States was prepared to send 60 or 70 prisoners home but either cannot persuade their countries to take them, or can't trust them not to free them.

"The second problem is ... what do you do with that irreducible 70 or 80 who you cannot let loose but will not be charged and will not be sent home," he said.
Seems to me that if you can't let them "loose" then you need to bring charges against them. And if the charges are unwarranted, then you have to let them go. What kind of nation has the U.S. become where it can just abscond with people and hold them forever? Without legal process? A sad, hypocritical nation that holds itself out as a model for others. And one that our government just happily winks at.

Fresh reports of documented torture and the U.S. Secretary of Defence expressing the intent to close Gitmo...the excuses for not repatriating Khadr are just pathetic at this point...