During his 2008 campaign, U.S. President Barack Obama vowed to shut down the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba that’s been used to detain enemy combatants in the “War on Terror.” Obviously that hasn’t happened … although taxpayers did shell out $750,000 on a soccer field for the detainees to use.
Five years later, Obama is once again raising the issue of closing Guantanamo … although once again he’s offering nothing in the way of alternative arrangements for the facility’s 166 occupants.
“I’m going to go back at this,” Obama said this week. “I’ve asked my team to review everything that’s currently being done in Guantanamo, everything that we can do administratively, and I’m going to re-engage with Congress to try to make the case that this is not something that’s in the best interest of the American people.”
Obama’s interest in Guantanamo comes as roughly 100 detainees are participating in a hunger strike to protest their indefinite detention at the facility – which began accepting detainees in January 2002.
In response to this hunger strike, the federal government has flown in several dozen medical military staff to attend to their nutritional needs.
“We will not allow them to die of starvation,” one military official said.
Really? Why not? Oh right … because neocon whores like U.S. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham can’t be deprived of any additional “actionable intelligence” these detainees may have.
This is ridiculous …
While we’ve always viewed suicide as the one unforgivable sin, the right to take one’s own life is a fundamental human liberty. If these detainees want to starve themselves to death, they should be allowed to do so. We shouldn’t be paying for to feed them against their will – thus prolonging their public relations campaign – any more than we should have built them a soccer field.
Taxpayers are shelling out more than $150 million a year on Guantanamo Bay, and while that cost pales in comparison to the cash being dropped on the broader “War on Terror,” it’s still money we can’t afford.
More fundamentally … why has dealing with these enemy combatant issues become so unnecessarily complex?
Here’s the bottom line: If proof exists that foreign nationals knowingly participated in terror activities against American citizens, then they should be lined up against a wall and shot – immediately. If no such proof exists (or, as is the case with many detainees, the government has no idea who they are), then they should be released.
Indefinite detention serves no one’s interests … shoot ’em or set ’em free.