Why We Should Close Guantanamo (Quick and Dirty Version)

| Mon Feb. 12, 2007 5:50 PM EST

Today's In These Times features "8 Reasons to Close Guantánamo Now." The reasons are likely not unfamiliar to Mother Jones readers, but here are a few highlights:

Not one individual among the nearly 800 incarcerated at Guantánamo has been charged with a crime recognized under either U.S. or international law….86 percent of detainees were arrested by Pakistan or the Northern Alliance and "handed over to the United States at a time when the United States offered large bounties for capture of suspected enemies."

For more on how this happens, check out Mother Jones' "One Detainee's Story," and "Why Am I in Cuba?"

The In These Times article suggests that, while life in Guantánamo is bad, life in the other 20 secret prisons the U.S. is operating is, in all likelihood, worse: "Guantánamo may have been a smokescreen for more inhumane, less legal incarceration and interrogation practices elsewhere." It also reports that "two of Europe's leading terrorism magistrates pointed out that attempts to infiltrate terrorist cells had become much more difficult in the wake of rising public anger over Guantánamo."

But its final conclusion is far from shrill. It suggests that it's just time to move on: "In the wake of 9/11, the United States' pledge to do everything in its power to protect its people from further harm led to a policy of overreaction.…We must no longer act like scared victims, willing to make any bargain with any devil to create the illusion of safety. We must reassert our confidence in the rule and wisdom of law."

Amen to that.

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