Tuesday, June 21, 2005

From the Can't Stop Digging at the Bottom of a Well Dept.

The Star Tribune's editors, unsatisfied with comparing the Bush administration to the Taliban, have gone even farther off the rhetorical deep end by not only endorsing Dick "Turban" Durbin's remarks, but criticizing him for not going far enough! Apparently the editors of my next-to-hometown consider the Marines and interrogators at Guantanamo Bay to be worse than the folks who ran the Nazi concentration camps, the gulag, and torture cells of the Lubyanka. Shame on them, because they should know better, or at least have been taught some history. Alas not, I guess.

I would mention a couple of things the Strib should consider prior to wasting valuable paper and ink on valueless spew like today's. First, the people being held at Gitmo are not prisoners of war or even criminals. For these folks, being a criminal would be a step up in status, and being worthy of POW status is just isn't possible. From what I've read concerning the Geneva Conventions most of the people held at Gitmo could have been summarily executed when captured, and it would have been perfectly legal and in keeping with over a century of military tradition. ( see the first part of Bill Whittle's Sanctuary essay, which mentions why uniforms are important in war, especially for civilians)

Second, the Strib needs to remember that the treatment given to the prisoners at Gitmo is not as tough as that given to our own people during their escape and evasion training. It certainly doesn't compare to real torture - the kinds practiced in Hanoi, in the gulag, in Lefortovo, in China, and in North Korea, just to name a few.

Moreover, the US government has made considerable effort to attempt to sort out those at Gitmo who really shouldn't be there. The result is a couple of hundred folks sent home, some of whom made further attempts to kill our people. Who else would do that?

Yes, there have been instances of mistreatment of prisoners/detainees in US custody. This is not to be tolerated, and must be (and has been) investigated and the offenders punished. It is also true that problems like this are inevitable. Not one of those incidents was discovered by the press. The press reports of misconduct at Abu Gharib and other places were not the fruit of investigative journalism. They were the product of investigations conducted by our own government. If the Bush administration's policy on detainees was based on that of the gulag or the torture chamber, they wouldn't be running investigations of it for the press to report on.

One last question for the collective font of wisdom at the Strib - if we don't incarcerate these kind of people at places like Gitmo, what do we do with them? Catch and release?

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