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February 11, 2009

Gitmo detainees

I enjoy reading Barbara Shelly but disagree with her column “Kansas politicians share yellow stripe on Gitmo” (2/6, Opinion). I do not believe they insult the military by implying they are not able to handle the task. If given this mission, our military forces would accomplish it. What it implies is that perhaps this task is better suited for another federal institution such as the Supermax facility in Florence, Colo.

It is easy for those not affected by the decision to house the Gitmo detainees to be critical. The global yearning to shut down Gitmo has not had a corresponding global willingness to share the burden. Kansas politicians were advocating on behalf of their constituents when they joined forces to secure the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility, just as they are in denouncing the idea of transferring Gitmo detainees to Fort Leavenworth.

Glenn K. Grothe
Fort Leavenworth

The Star’s editorial (2/7, Opinion, “Fort can handle Gitmo detainees”) regarding placing terrorists at Fort Leavenworth is an amazing display of ignorance and naïveté.

Members of al-Qaida and Lashkar-i-Taiba have a goal of killing Americans. The judgment of The Star’s editors apparently is so clouded that they do not understand that terrorists see no distinction between those in uniform and civilians. They will gladly kill themselves if it means killing Americans. The editors cannot grasp the cultural difference between those cowards and our culture that distinguishes between combatants and non-combatants.

Unfortunately, The Star’s editors are quite willing to place Gitmo detainees in our community. That terrorists might seek vengeance by sending suicide murderers wearing explosive vests into our city schools is of no consequence to The Star.

In short, before editorializing from ignorance, you would do well to educate yourselves, take off your blinders, and get your heads out of the sand.

Richard L. Kiper
U.S. Army Special Forces (retired)
Leavenworth

Comments

Engineer

cooker_fox
Once again, with what do you charge a detainee taken under arms on a foreign battle field? When do you release someone taken under arms in a conflict that is still in progress?
My problem is not so much with closing Gitmo, it is with President Obama. As a candidate he called for the closing for years, basked in the applause resulting from his rhetoric, but apparently gave no thought at all as to how it was to be done.

cooker_fox

I agree GP. I talk to many folks from around the world daily and on of their biggest issues is gitmo. It has given the US a black eye and that is the main reason it needs to be closed and we have to show that we are not just moving them, but dealing with the detainees in accordance to the treaty we have signed and we espouse. We cannot hold them without some sort of trial. And it needs to be in the open.

Stifled Freedom

Smarter than you, you are getting close to the heart of the argument.

I have resigned to the fact, that this arguement is not about Gitmo, detainees, facts, or the Constitution. It is all about partisan politics. Pat Roberts is a professional partisan poltician who's job, now, is to oppose Obama no matter what the issue.

However, I have questions for the keep-Gitmo-open advocates. If you support keeping Gitmo open, you must define its future. What is its future? How long will we keep it? To what expense will we go? How many more poeple will we add to it? What will the political climate be 20 years from now with respect to Gitmo if still open? Will we start sending other convicts down there someday? I guess at least they will be convicts and not just accused. Somebody, someday will close it....and it might even be a Republican.

Finally, how do you explain to the rest of the world, while your hard selling America's brand of freedom, that you keep detainees indefinitely without charges or trial in violation of your own Constitution?

The simple concept is that Gitmo, as its run today, has no future. We can't do it forever.

Smarter Than You

Simple question for all the "close gitmo now" forces: Is it the facility or the policies the Bush adminstration had at the facility you object to? Bonus points if you can be intellectually honest in your answer.

putkidsfirst

Just ridiculous comments coming from the neocon NIMBYs. Let's answer a few simple questions:

1. Will we be running into Gittmo detainees at the grocery store?

2. Will our parks be dangerous places because they are full of Gittmo detainees?

3. Will our precious children be going to school with the children of detainees?

No, no and no. They will be BEHIND BARS. Someone is going to have to explain how they will be a danger to me and my community. Do inmates often escape from this prison in Leavenworth?

Engineer

Pub 17
Who should be in charge of enemy combatants taken under arms on foreign ground? With what exactly can they be charged under a civil code? Why was the trial of the man accused of masterminding the Cole incident stopped? What civil charges apply to setting off explosives against a US war vessel in a foreign harbor? ?

Engineer

Pub 17
Who should be in charge of enemy combatants taken under arms on foreign ground? With what exactly can they be charged under a civil code? Why was the trial of the man accused of masterminding the Cole incident stopped? What civil charges apply to setting off explosives against a US war vessel in a foreign harbor?

Engineer

Marctnts
Of course the concerns about the Command and General Staff College are more than enough to eliminate the Disciplinary Barracks from consideration as a place for the detainees. Enough, that is, for any one who has given any thought or consideration to the situation. The fact that there is not enough space for them there would also have caused pause to any one who had actually thought about the matter. If they are to be moved either a new facility will be required or an existing facility will have to be depopulated. An alternative would be to divide an existing facility and depopulate one part. The detainees are allowed conduct that would not be and could not be tolerated in any existing institution in the US. Some think they have it bad at Gitmo. If they would try throwing feces on civilian prison guards they will learn what bad is.

Engineer

whispering_to_kc
If they did that it isn't the fence as finally designed. That barrier includes at least two fences with a road between and monitoring and warning devices. In any event, no one said that a fence alone would do the job. But a fenced border is a great deal easier to control than an unfenced one.

Engineer

whispering_to_kc
If they did that it isn't the fence as finally designed. That barrier includes at least two fences with a road between and monitoring and warning devices. In any event, no one said that a fence alone would do the job. But a fenced border is a great deal easier to control than an unfenced one.

whispering_to_kc

"... Aren't ya glad terrorists can't just come across the Mexican border at will ..."

The southern border is open again and we're being swarmed!!

The fence isn't even finished yet and it's already been defeated. The "new" trick is to park a truck along the fence, our friends climb on the roof of the van body and jump over the fence into the USA.

OH!! We were "that" close to keeping them out!! OH!!

Smarter Than You

My Dearest Pub:
I must be uneducated having missed when Obama abdicated the presidency in order for the Bush team to have a third term. Short of that, as you point out in your own special way, the Gitmo facility is run by the military. Pop quiz: Who is the Commander in Cheif of said military? C'mon. You can come up with the name. Starts with an "O!"

Isn't your argument then that our President can't even lead his own military?

Pub 17

STY
Educate yourself before you post.
The criminals in the Bush Administration have tried to get Guantanamo Bay declared outside the scope of U.S. law because that law extends only to U.S. sovereign territory. The U.S. explicitly recognizes that Guantanamo Bay is held only under lease and remains the sovereign territory of Cuba. Therefore, anyone held at Guantanamo Bay is entirely at the mercy of the U.S. military. Clever, aren't they? Fortunately, they're out of office and with any luck headed for prison.

Smarter Than You


Maybe if our Commander in Cheif was more interested in being a leader than the "P.R.esident" (platitutdes in place of performance) he'd rethink the Gitmo thing. Obama's not closing Gitmo because the facility is inadequate. Quite the opposite, it's only because of what it stands for. Couldn't our Chief Executive "CHANGE" the culture of the facility and open it to inspection, thus showing real leadership? That has to be better than transferring these potential terrorists.

cooker_fox

"No one is addressing the Command and General Staff College issue. Should this be of concern?" Marctnts

Actually this has been the only reasonable reason I have heard not to put them there. I was torn between Ft. Leavenworth and the CO facility, but that swayed me.

Pub 17

whispering--
Aren't ya glad terrorists can't just come across the Mexican border at will, after the Bush Administration locked it up tighter than a kettledrum? Remember, He Kept Us Safe.

Marctnts

No one is addressing the Command and General Staff College issue. Should this be of concern? Should this point to another solution (federal correctional facility or new DOD facility maybe)?

whispering_to_kc

"That terrorists might seek vengeance by sending suicide murderers wearing explosive vests into our city schools is of no consequence to The Star."

Are we trying to say they've only been waiting on the closing of GITMO and moving its occupants to Leavenworth to crank up their campaign of terror?

It's seems like a low probability event, an A-Rab equipped with appropriate terror devices sneaking into Kansas, let alone working his way successfully into a local school.

Prisoners? Windmills? Coal fired power plants? Kansas: NIMBY. Do you people do anything but drive back and forth to church?

I wonder if Kiper spent any time in Honduras with Negroponte and Casey, tossing troublesome flying nuns from choppers?

Kiper: "As God is my witness, I thought nuns could fly."

whispering_to_kc

"... fly them in helicopters without seat belts with the doors open. Then start making hard turns. All gone!" - Posted by: mike d

That's how Negroponte/Casey and our boys in Central America used to get rid of troublesome Catholic nuns.

Flying nuns.

 
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