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January 27, 2009

Closing of Gitmo

It’s great to see Guantanamo Bay closing, but now what? We must decide whether suspected terrorists are considered prisoners of war or suspected criminals. Prisoners of war may be imprisoned during the war with no trials. Prisoners of war are thought to have fought for something their country valued. Do terrorists fit this definition?

Criminals have broken the law and have done immoral things, like murdering civilians. Our country asks that criminals be convicted using strict procedures and with strong evidence. This leaves lots of criminals walking the streets, but we don’t falsely convict very many people.

If we consider terrorists to be criminals, why be worried that we won’t convict them all? Think how many criminals are not convicted in our everyday life. We cope with murderers on the streets. Is it any different to try the suspected terrorists and let the unproven ones go free? It’s the American way.

Bill Stewart
Kansas City

Recently President Obama announced that he intends to close Guantanamo within one year. Immediately Sens. Kit Bond and Sam Brownback announced that they did not want to see any of the prisoners at Fort Leavenworth or in their districts.

Do they know something that the rest of us do not? Do these prisoners have special powers like flying over walls or walking through bars? Or do the senators not have confidence that our prisons are capable of keeping someone within their walls?

I am not certain of the decision to close Gitmo, although I think it has many merits. But I do have a problem with objecting to these prisoners being placed in some of our highest security prisons. Have some confidence in our penal system.

Dean Kelley
Kansas City

The Star’s editorial about the Guantanamo situation (1/24, Opinion, “No ideal solution for Gitmo detainees”) was sensible and constructive, though probably troublesome to the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) crowd, led by the Kansas senators. Of course, both senators supported the Gitmo enterprise every step of the way, until now.

One reasonable option would be to let the Gitmo operation follow its founders to Texas. There it would be convenient to the headquarters of Halliburton, Inc., which should be required to use a minuscule portion of its profits from the “war on terror” to build, operate and maintain the facility.

No, I’m not kidding.

Bob Campbell
Lawrence

Comments

TinaMcG

"It has been my experience in design projects that sometimes the one who thought it "over and over and over" sometimes messed up an originally good design. But I will read the books. "

It's the same with painting. Overworking a drawingorpaintingis the most common way to ruin it. But I think you knew what I meant and I'd use a winky emoticon, but I can't stand them...

Engineer

TinaMcG
It has been my experience in design projects that sometimes the one who thought it "over and over and over" sometimes messed up an originally good design. But I will read the books.

TinaMcG

"But that does not mean that he gave a lot of thought to just how he would do things after he was elected or even to what, just exactly, he would do. "

I give up. All I can say now is go get copies of his two memoirs, "Dreams From My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope". Get to know the guy. The first book was published in 1995, long long before his bid for the presidency and even before his Senate run, so there is no political agenda in the book. The second was published around the time he ran for Senate.

He's a good man, and a wise man. He calculates things carefully and takes his time making decisions. He thinks about things, discusses them with people, brainstorms, and then makes decisions. This is a man who does not set a course of action until he has thought it through...sometimes over and over and over.

Even if you don't care for Obama, you will be impressed with the way he writes. His books are very informative, and even when the material seems dry, his writing stle makes them easy to read.

Engineer

TinaMcG
He did run a remarkable campaign. He overcame an established candidate in his own party that was thought to be a shoo in. But that does not mean that he gave a lot of thought to just how he would do things after he was elected or even to what, just exactly, he would do.

solomon

"Do your homework....."_TinaMcG

Now that's funny!

TinaMcG

Arminius:

"In history? Really? Better planned than Reagan's landslides over Carter and Mondale? How about George H.W. Bush's landslide over Dukakis? Johnson's over Goldwater?"

Yes. Carter didn't stand a chance against Reagan. No one thought Carter could win. Hostages...poor economy...remember?

Campaigns are different now, and a lot more complex. We have 24-hour news coverage, the impact of the internet on campaigning, fund raising and rumor-mongering...do you not see huge differences? Obama's campaign was a brilliant example of excellent management and the ability to stay on the message.

"If he had, why would it take him up to a year to figure out what to do with the detainees? "

Within a year. That's what he ordered. Could be three months, could be twelve. That's what "within" means.


"Abu Ghraib was shut down some time ago. So you think terrorists being held at Gitmo is a situation that is causing other terrorists to enlist? How would you explain al Qaeda's rapid growth during the 1990s, before there was a Gitmo?"

The memories of Abu Ghraib, those photos from Abu Ghraib -- will never be shut down. People don't forget.

As for al Qaeda's rapid growth in the 90s, maybe you should go back a little further. Before al Qaeda adopted that name, bin Laden was our ally, or did you not know that? We supported his efforts in fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. Fast forward to the Gulf War in the early 90s. Our presence in Saudia Arabia and throughout the region ticked off the newly formed "al Qaeda", which attracted recruits worldwide.

Read the rest at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaeda

Our failure to charge or try the Gitmo detainees, coupled with reports of torture there, continue to be a rallying point for terrorist groups.

Do your homework. Go pick up a copy of "Ghost Wars" or Richard Clark's "Against All Enemies". Clark has a great chapter in that book entitled "Stumbling into the Middle East" -- very telling stuff.


Arminius

TinaMcG:

"The man ran the tightest and best planned campaign in election history."

In history? Really? Better planned than Reagan's landslides over Carter and Mondale? How about George H.W. Bush's landslide over Dukakis? Johnson's over Goldwater?

"Do you honestly think this has not been thought through?"

If he had, why would it take him up to a year to figure out what to do with the detainees?

"He is well aware that the two biggest terrorist-recruiting tools have been Abu Ghraib and Gitmo."

They are? Abu Ghraib was shut down some time ago. So you think terrorists being held at Gitmo is a situation that is causing other terrorists to enlist? How would you explain al Qaeda's rapid growth during the 1990s, before there was a Gitmo?

"So I'm sure a plan is well underway, and the symbolism of the executive order to close Gitmo was not lost on the Muslim world."

I'm sure it wasn't. "Hey, Ahmed, we have another pansey in the White House."

Engineer

solomon
You make me think there is something I ought to remember, but...

solomon

Engineer, you flirtatious madcap.

Don't blame you a bit.

Engineer

CRD
A devastating, logical argument of the type one can always expect from you.

Engineer

solomon
But she says it so much better. Or maybe I'm just taken by her beung such a true beliver.

solomon

That's funny, I thought TinaMcG and I were saying the same thing.

CRD

Bull. Crap.

Lloyd, you're as full of it as always.

Engineer

CRD
Surely if there were a plan there would have been some indication of it in the Executive Orders. President Obama doesn't even seem to know what was in the orders when he was presenting them.
solomon
The fact that things are bad does not excuse not thinking about them beforehand.
Tina
Let us all hope that you are the one who has it right.

Kansasdog

Tina "how can you think the complex logistics haven't been considered by Obama"
,

Engineer says so...

"nothing has been done or said to indicate that any thought or planning was devoted to this matter prior to the announcement of the executive orders."

... thread over.

CRD

"Or have you become used to a president who doesn't think things through before going off half cocked?"

That might be the case with the complacent Bush-supporters here.

TinaMcG

Come on everyone, if all of us are giving serious consideration to what should be done with the prisoners, how can you think the complex logistics haven't been considered by Obama? Or have you become used to a president who doesn't think things through before going off half cocked? Believe me, Obama is nothing like Bush. Not even close.

CRD

"But there was nothing in the Executive Orders to indicate that any serious thought had previously been given to the physical problems."

Even if we grant you this assertion(which is suspect), then by the same token, there's nothing to indicate that he and his advisors haven't given serious thought to this serious issue.

solomon

Engineer,

I have no idea what to do. I don't believe the Obama administration is in the position I'm in, they have to have given it some thought. The fact is he said he'd have an executive order signed when he assumed the office, and he did, to the satisfaction of the majority of Americans. I have no problem with working the details out once given all the information he did not have previously.

Lets go back to the surprise burning sack of poo. If you react without knowing all the facts about it......

Engineer

solomon
I neither expect nor ask for "total disclosure'. But there was nothing in the Executive Orders to indicate that any serious thought had previously been given to the physical problems. If you think there was, please cite what you have in mind. Perhaps Tina is right, let's hope so. But running a campaign and solving actual physical difficulties are not the same thing.

 
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