Monday, August 08, 2005

The New Gitmo Catch-22

Captain's Quarters blogged Critics of the detention of unlawful combatants at Guantanamo Bay apparently cannot find any reasonable solution for handling terrorists acceptable. After announcing the approval of a new facility for Gitmo detention based on a model county jail system in Michigan to ease the concerns of human-rights activists, the same people complained about the planned release of 200 current detainees to their home countries for further processing. This relocation has raised the ire of Amnesty International, which demands a halt to this effort. This, of course, is the same organization which claimed that Gitmo (and Bagram in Afghanistan, which will also release Afghanis to Kabul) formed an "American gulag" earlier this year in its annual report. AI says that because Afghanistan practices torture -- a charge certainly true under the Taliban, less certainly under Hamid Karzai -- the US should not and cannot release Afghani citizens to Afghanistan. On the other hand, they want them released from Guantanamo. So where, exactly, would AI like us to send them?

Well we can't very well send them to Londonistan, because Blair has helped the US, but why not send them to France. Or maybe to Brussles. And make sure they stay there.
If we don't release them to their home countries, we would have to select a neutral country and get them to detain these people. The problem with that is twofold. First, these detainees not only conducted unlawful wartime operations against American forces, but also committed crimes in Afghanistan, not in some neutral territory. The neutral territory would have no jurisdiction to keep them detained and would have to release them instead. Second, since AI and other critics have insisted that America give these terrorists the same protections as uniformed soldiers under the Geneva Conventions, the GC requires released POWs to get repatriated to their home countries at the end of hostilities. It doesn't provide for third-party detention. This exposes Amnesty International as a first-order appeaser of terrorists and a dangerous influence on the war on terror. AI wants these detainees completely released and free to conduct more acts of terror against Western targets. No humane treatment or upgraded facility will satisfy these junior Chamberlains. The Pentagon's efforts to create a facility that will impress such critics will amount to a waste of time and money unless it significantly improves the security of our men and women who staff Gitmo now and in the future.

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