“The prospects for closing Guantanamo as best I can tell are very, very low given very broad opposition to doing that here in the Congress,” Gates told a Senate hearing.
In Washington on Wednesday, CIA Director Leon Panetta told senators that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden likely would be sent to the Guantanamo prison if he were ever captured.”
In the heat of the global war on terrorism, Jack Nicholson seems to be winning in the real world, despite the profanities, in contrast to the well pedigreed polish of Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men.
The President of the United States, Barack Obama, in 2009 was swept into office riding a wave of dissent about the Iraq war beginning in 2004 and America’s conduct in it in violation of human rights. His first order of business was to close the terrorist detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (or colloquially, as popularized in the Hollywood movie A Few Good Men, Gitmo) which was set up in 2002 by the Bush Administration. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2009.
Former president Bush was asked not to visit Switzerland recently because his life could be in danger due to the secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) renditions of terrorism suspects to Europe, interrogations in the United States, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. The world community was unclear since 2002 as to why the Geneva Conventions did not apply to prisoners of war in the war on terrorism.
In January 2011, the Nobel peace laureate president reversed himself to let the detention camp continue indefinitely. Giving the commander-in-chief of the United States armed forces benefit of the doubt, and the subsequent killing of Osama Bin Laden by CIA covert operatives and Navy Seals in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May 2011, and especially in the context of the above cited testimony by the CIA and the Department of Defense (DoD), Obama’s policy reversal on Gitmo is justifiable after the fact.
Obama may not have wanted any risks to the Bin Laden operation until the phrase “Geronimo-E KIA” was transmitted to the White House basement on May 2, 2011 in what is a necessary war against global terrorism. According to Wikipedia reports, the alphabetical ordering of the letter “G”, the symbol of freemasons, is conspicuous. The symbol is just that. A symbol, whatever the domestic politics of religion in the United States (those who are familiar with the history of the freemasons know that it stands for freedom of religion to mean secular in faith, whatever the faith). It may have meant more for Obama who modeled himself after George Washington, a freemason, and Abraham Lincoln a self-taught lawyer.
Whether new presidents, after being sworn in, in the tradition of bringing Harry Truman into the confidence of the intelligence establishment of the United States about the Manhattan Project after FDR’s death, know enough to make sound decisions is a separate matter. Obama may not have known about Geronimo until after he announced his intent to close Gitmo in 2009.
It is appalling that the left in America does not know what the right is doing because of oneupmanship in the domestic politics of counter-terrorism: General David Petraeus, the architect of counterinsurgency (COIN) in Iraq to win the hearts and minds of the people in the hotbeds of terrorism around the world (I argued for such a strategy similar to Geronimo and COIN for Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2002), who is now ready to direct the CIA cannot convince the president that COIN can be applied to Gitmo prisoners with appropriate sentencing guidelines under international law, and especially when human rights and humanitarian interventions are acceptable in Libya. Doing so could also dramatically change the United Nations (UN) approach to the global war on terrorism, independent of the faith of such radical and destabilizing militancy.
Bin Laden or no Bin Laden Gitmo must be closed (he could have been assassinated in 1999 by the Clinton National Security Council without all the trouble since 9/11).
Only then can Tom Cruise win.
(My thanks to Mr. Charles S. Ray, Staff Attorney with the United States Sentencing Commission, for a helpful discussion about sentencing guidelines pertaining to drug traffickers from Columbia, South America. In the above article, I conceptually extended this practice by the US government to COIN, terrorism and Guantanamo. My recommendation is to create sentencing guidelines for international terrorism suspects held by the United States.).