The Left’s Obsession With Guantanamo

by Melissa Clouthier | January 13, 2009 1:11 pm

What do you do with murderous and suicidal terrorists intent on killing prison guards or killing themselves? What do you do with a bunch of crazies who wish to spread a virulent ideology to any discontent who will listen? What do you do with dangerous people possessing dangerous secrets where the secrets, if leaked in a court battle, would endanger those in the court, the local populace, and the world at large? What do you do enemies who would provide a target-rich environment for those who would “save” them from prison? How do you keep those around these targets safe?

Why didn’t Barack Obama consider these questions while proclaiming that he would close the Guantanamo Bay detention center during his campaigning? Here’s Mr. Obama’s opinion now[1]:

Mr. Obama has repeatedly said he wants to close the camp. But in an interview on Sunday on ABC, he indicated that the process could take time, saying, “It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize.” Closing it within the first 100 days of his administration, he said, would be “a challenge.”

I think these prisoners present a problem more difficult than Mr. Obama realized. Imagine that.

So why is the Left so set on having the dangers that these terrorists possess sitting on American soil when the dangers in question are not American citizens? No one else wants them, really. From the same New York Times article[2]:

Aside from analyzing intelligence and legal filings on each of the remaining detainees, diplomats and legal experts have said the new administration will need to begin an extensive new international effort to resettle as many as 150 or more of the remaining men. Portugal and other European countries have recently broken a long diplomatic standoff, saying they would work with the new administration and might accept some detainees who cannot be sent to their home countries because of concerns about their potential treatment.

[Emphasis added.]

So some European countries might accept these powder kegs. Seems they don’t want the innocent lambs among their prison population and population in general, either. They want to snipe at President Bush for vague human rights concerns but they don’t want to expose their own populations to the risk these guys present. How very typically hypocritical.

The left, encapsulated by the ACLU’s Anthony Romero said,”Just like we need specifics on an economic recovery package,” Mr. Romero said, “we need specifics on a ‘justice recovery package.’ ”

Justice, ‘eh? Would it be just to put innocent Americans at risk so that the ACLU feels good about American law being used to try foreign nationals? Would it be just to have American taxpayers pay for extra guards (rather than soldiers equipped for the job) who would be at risk of being attacked daily while simultaneously trying to keep the same detainees alive (most prisoners in the American system want to live while the Muslim terrorists would love nothing more than to be a martyr)? Would it be just for military secrets to come out in open court tipping off the enemy who we’re still at war with?

I don’t think the Left wants justice. I think they want America to be hamstrung in a war they don’t believe exists. They want to pretend the problem is a criminal one–a circumscribed lesion not a systemic infection that requires more careful treatment.

That Barack Obama is just now seeing the implications is both discouraging and heartening. Will he put America at risk to appease a deluded portion of the electorate? Will he find some other solution? Time will tell. But this issue is one that people with intellectual honesty wrestle with. It’s easy to be a legalistic simpleton when you’re the President of the ACLU. The President of the United States of America needs to be concerned with real justice for the American people. Justice, in this case, means seeing reality: America has vicious enemies intent on doing harm and they need to be contained and stopped without endangering Americans.

Cross-posted at[3]

  1. Mr. Obama’s opinion now:
  2. New York Times article:

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