The Senate Republicans have put up an unusually boneheaded video about the idea of holding Guantanamo detainees in the US:
Something about 9/11 seems to have produced a kind of amnesia among some people on the right. It’s as though they think that we have never before had to figure out such questions as: how can we hold dangerous people in detention safely? When someone has served his time and we think he might go on to do something bad, how might we monitor him to ensure that he doesn’t? Suppose we have captured someone who might be guilty of a violent crime, but we do not have enough evidence to charge him: what should we do?
These are not problems that we confronted for the first time after 9/11. They have been with us from the founding of our country. We somehow managed to face down the world’s most powerful empire, survive a brutal civil war, defeat Hitler, and live for about forty years with an immense arsenal of thermonuclear weapons pointed at our cities, and do all that without giving up on the rule of law. But let nineteen guys with boxcutters fly planes into our buildings and, apparently, we face a Brand New Existential Threat that causes our entire legal history to fly out of our collective heads.
To explain this point, and to prove that I too can make a movie with Carl Orff’s ‘O Fortuna’ as the soundtrack, I present my own YouTube. (It’s the first time I’ve ever made a movie. Be gentle.)
If we can’t have dangerous people living among us, then we are going to have a whole lot of extra prisons sitting around empty.