Saturday, June 23, 2007

The True Presidential Library

Would I rather see Guantanamo Bay shut down - and wonder about all the shadow prisons in eastern europe, similar to the "Salt Pit" in Kabul, and places we don't know much about?

Or would I rather see Guantanamo Bay run as an appropriate facility where a reasonable and just process is followed in dealing with people suspected of terrorism or other crimes?

They can tear down barbed wire. What they won't dismantle is that which Guantanamo represents: an administration that has reserved the right to imprison people indefinitely with no process whatsoever. An administration that considers the Geneva Conventions antiquated. An administration that considers privacy, due process, and even the basic writs of accepted common law for a just society (e.g. habeas corpus) as luxuries we cannot afford in a "changed world." An administration that favors force over justice. An administation that refuses to bring charges of any kind against people who have been held prisoner for several years - as if by now that still had any useful information - if they EVER did.

The idea that this place is somehow keeping us safe from terrorists must be derided for the empty lie that it is. If we cannot have honest and frank discourse in our legislature, we can at least have it over our dinner tables, on the golf course, on the bus, wherever we congregate.

The continued existence of Guantanamo Bay represents a Republic that, sadly, is unable to recognize the meaning of Guantanamo and confront it. Guantanamo Bay is the true George W. Bush Presidential Library. They should preserve it. It tells us something about what we are willing to tolerate. That is not good news for American democracy, or the ideals we make so much noise about around theworld.

Regardless of what is done with Guantanamo Bay (I still think it should be preserved in Bush's name), it is time to ask: Who are we, as a country?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

if artifacts tell us about previouse lives...I'm not sure what the "cold" artifacts of machines, guns and haunted halls have to say for us...and does it mean, this IS what we will tolerate? More and more I see deicisions made that stretch "normalizing deviance"..and say to myself..who draws the boundaries when money and lobbying interest "overrule".
Your east coast friend...:)