The implication in the headline “Could Fort Leavenworth become the new Gitmo?” (1/23, A-1) is both tragic and false. Guatanamo is not closing because it contains terrorists, but because it symbolizes the immoral and inhumane treatment they received there. The idea that the facility at Leavenworth would or could become a Gitmo is an oxymoron considering that such treatment is no longer to be.
Granted, an initial local defensive position is understandable, and there are huge inherent problems any location or facility must overcome. Yet as a Kansan, I am shamed if our response to this moral issue truly is as the article implied. America has been brought to its current critical point by the “me first” thinking of individuals and of communities and states. Our survival requires that such thinking cease.
If Leavenworth is our nation’s best option, let Kansas show the world that we are a capable leader in forgoing self-interest and in solving problems in order to make possible the moral treatment of prisoners.
Kansas finally has a big opportunity to be of material aid to the so-called “war on terror,” and what do our Republican senators do? They cowardly whine and complain about having dangerous terrorists in our backyards. The Republicans are the same people who supported President Bush’s misguided policies on Guatanamo Bay, including torture and kangaroo courts that have made its closure a necessity.
It’s time for the people of Kansas to do their part to clean up the messes made by Bush. After all, they have overwhelmingly supported those policies for the past eight years.
I have zero sympathy for the argument that Leavenworth is not the right place for these detainees. In fact, perhaps if they had been placed there originally, we could have avoided the stain on our history created by the torture and abuse of Guatanamo Bay.