As Barack Obama wrestles with the problems produced by the use of Gitmo the ghosts of Gitmo will haunt America for generations. The decision to use extralegal, fanciful legal theories, torture, degradation and inhumane treatment have ruined the nation’s image abroad and undermined the rule of law.
Torturing prisoners for forty nine consecutive days to later discover the man had no terror connections and release him back to his country and now the transfer of Salim Hamdan, said to be Osama’s personal driver and a full fledged member of Al Qaeda, to his home in Yemen to serve his sentence, undermines every legal, moral and ethical argument espoused by the Bush Administration for using the facility.
Of the 800 people captured, transferred and tortured at Gitmo only a handful were of any actual consequence. Most have been released and courts have ordered another 200 to be discharged. George W. Bush publicly called these captives “the worst of the worst.” They likely will be: the worst of the worst ghosts of Gitmo. As they escape the facility due to legal process they will tell the tales of Guantanamo Bay, of how America treated them, desecrated their religious beliefs, and trashed our reputation in the process.
These will be the ghosts of Guantanamo, stories which will be passed among Muslims and foreigners for hundreds of years, stories of America which will foment hatred, revulsion and revenge upon us and our descendants. The ghosts of Gitmo will haunt our country for generations.
Was it worth it?