FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE…. Joe Klein laments the latest nonsense on Gitmo.
Guantanamo is a symbol of American brutality that needs to be expunged to the extent possible by closure, as soon as practicable. We have a system of military prisons that would be perfectly adequate to handle the detainees who are not returned to the home countries. Apparently, President Obama is going to give a speech on this topic on Thursday — but the Senators just couldn’t wait 48 hours while the Republicans and cable newsistas were scaring their constituents. Yet another profile in courage.
I agree with all of this, but it got me thinking about how this debate would go if the situations were reversed, and it was a Republican president trying to close the detention facility and it was (primarily) Democrats engaged in silly demagoguery. What would Hannity, Limbaugh, and GOP leaders on the Hill be saying under those circumstances?
* Democrats believe in the midst of two wars and an ongoing terrorist threat, national security decisions should be made by 535 lawmakers instead of the Commander in Chief.
* Democrats don’t trust the U.S. military to be able to lock up a couple of hundred nuts.
* If Democrats are scared of these detainees being locked up on U.S. soil, it’s up to them to figure out what to do with the terrorists who are already detained in supermax facilities.
* If Democrats have proof that the nation’s prisons are incapable of housing 241 suspected bad guys, or have evidence that these guards who protect us from the bad guys are untrustworthy, they should offer it. Otherwise, they should apologize to the wardens, guards, and security teams, who do important work day in and day out, and who’ve just been insulted.
It’s pretty easy, actually. Instead, Dems seem to be afraid of the GOP attacks. It’s frustrating to watch.