Friday, March 30, 2007

Moving GITMO to Pensacola

Pensacola daily newspaper readers were greeted this morning by the big, black, scary headline you see above. The underlying story was based entirely on wire service copy and a pusillanimous politician's press release.

Almost immediately, the usual crowd of nincompoops and near-illiterates who couldn't wait for the talk shows to begin went on-line to scream as loudly as if Osama bin Laden was due to arrive at any moment for a speaking engagement at the civic center.

(By the way, where is ol' "dead or alive", anyway? It's been almost six years!)

"Not in my back yard" is the local sentiment. No surprise there. The same loosely-wrapped jingoists who so lustily cheered George Bush as he launched his war against Iraq and began breaking the U.S. army have been the last to volunteer to pay for the folly, fight it, or clean up the mess. These "loyal Bushies" now constitute a record-low thirty percent of the American public, according to the latest Time magazine poll.

By some standards, that's only five points higher than the total percentage of all insane Americans.

Incumbent congressman Jeff Miller is among them. "A good number of these terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay have killed or threatened Americans," he says in a press release vowing to oppose the closing of Guantanamo prison.

Miller's theory is that this could be done by amending U.S. law to prohibit "the treatment of wounded soldiers within fifty miles of any facility housing former Guantanamo Bay detainees."

Does it make any sense to punish our wounded soldiers because dangerous prisoners might be held at a military prison somewhere nearby? No, which is one reason why Miller's amendment was defeated.

Not to worry, though. Not yet. Pensacola Naval Air Station is only one of 17 potential relocation sites. According to the Kansas City Star others include:
  • Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
  • Fort Knox, Ky.
  • Fort Sill, Okla.
  • Fort Lewis, Wash.
  • Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
  • Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.
  • Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif.
  • Naval Brig Norfolk, Va.
  • Weapons Station Charleston, S.C.
  • Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • Submarine Base Bangor, Wash.
  • Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Marine Corps Brig Quantico, Va.
  • Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
  • Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
  • Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
The military prisons at those other bases already shelter a fair number of dangerous murderers who have "threatened Americans." They just happen to be our own home grown, westernized type of dangerous criminals. After all, imprisoning murders, rapists and such is what prisons are for, right?

A number of other congressmen now are promising the bases in their districts won't take Guantanamo prisoners, either. So it looks likely that closing Guantanamo and dispersing the detainees is going to become another kind of Yucca Mountain problem with no resolution in sight.

Everyone presumes the inmates include at least some dangerous material that needs to be contained, but no one is willing to do the containing themselves. Even Bush's own Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says Guantanamo should be closed. But he probably doesn't want them in his home town, either.

After thorough consideration, however, we're pleased to announce that we've come up with a solution: Let George do it. Move the notorious Guantanamo prison to remote, isolated, brushy Crawford, Texas.

George W. Bush broke the pottery. George W. Bush should have to pay the price and take it home with him.

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