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Mr. Obama: Don't close Guantanamo!

By       Message Gene Messick     Permalink    (# of views)   13 comments

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opednews.com Headlined to H2 1/14/09

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Stories are leaking out all over the Internet that one of Obama's first acts as our President will be to close down Guantanamo. At first glance, this appears to be a powerful statement toward righting the gross and unacceptable abuses of power of the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld Administration.  Obama knows he must tread lightly, appearing not to slap GwB in the face, and this is one of the ways he's chosen to do it, to say to the World that this abomination against the rule of law that America stands for shall cease.

Another is this: for all of the self-justifying PR bluster that GwB got from them, the words "War on Terror" shall be laid to rest. There never was an "axis of evil" nor "war on terror" except in the twisted minds of NeoCON scriptwriters who formed the words which actor GwB memorized, just as Ronnie Rayguns did when NeoCONs took control of our Nation, and sent us down a road which led inexorably to the Meltdown of our Global Economy.

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Here's a link to one of these stories:  t r u t h o u t | 01.13

Obama Preparing Order to Close Guantanamo
http://www.truthout.org/011309J
Lara Jakes, The Associated Press: "President-elect Barack Obama is preparing to issue an executive order his first week in office - and perhaps his first day - to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, according to two presidential transition team advisers."

However, there's an even better reason NOT to close Guantanamo, equally symbolic. Closing Guantanamo, of course, does not mean turning a bunch of very bad guys loose. They will have to be incarcerated somewhere else while some justice system, somewhere, determines their fate. So they will be moved elsewhere. But the facility itself should not be torn to the ground, obliterated from our history. Guantanamo is a huge part of American history, and could be preserved as a National Park so that future generations can see how far we were led wrong by those we elected to power, and how our trust was betrayed.
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Guantanamo could become a Museum of Horrors of Imperialistic Wars, just as we memorialize all other wars in our past. War for Oil. War to restore opium production in Afghanistan. War to unstabilize the Global Economy. There's a huge advantage to preserving Guantanamo as a Global historical tourist attraction, just like we do with other genocidal and holocaust-type museums. Certainly there is no dearth of material to put on display.

Imagine Interactive Exhibits where visitors can choose alternate paths of travel during the Eight Year GwB Administration, just by punching a few buttons. What would have happened if GwB had heeded the many warnings that an attack on America was imminent? What could have happened if Congress had NOT allowed GwB to invade Iraq? What could have happened if the promise to track down Osama was not abandoned in favor of trying to grab one of the World's richest oil fields? What would have happened if the secret War Plans Cheney laid out, masquerading as an Energy Policy, had been disclosed to the American people?

There are so many "what ifs" to explore. What if our Supreme Court had not declared GwB to be our President in 2000? What if Al Gore had been able to set us on a path toward energy self-sufficiency that would by now make us only marginally dependent on foreign underground oil fields? Where would we be in our quest to end Global Warming if GwB had NOT been installed as President by our Supreme Court? You can begin to see how powerful this uniquely historic Exhibition could be.
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Here's a link to a litany of these Events presented by journalist Helen Thomas:

Helen Thomas | History Cannot Save Him
http://www.truthout.org/011309B
Helen Thomas, Hearst Newspapers: "As he leaves office, President Bush is passing on to his successor two wars and a growing economic debacle. What a way to go! Not to worry, Bush says he isn't concerned about how history will view his militant eight years in the White House, telling ABC News that he 'won't be around to read it.' Well, they say that journalism is the first draft of history. So I am going to predict that those future historians will not deal kindly with the Bush presidency."   

But with all the marvelous possibilities presented to us by this concept, there is one better still.

What if Guantanamo is preserved as a prison for our own war criminals?

While Obama and Congress will initially shun pointing the finger of blame at those who misled us --so that Obama can focus positively on how to get us out of this mess --at some point in time, we as a Nation must face what we allowed to happen.

True, there are only 250 slots available, but Guantanamo could be expanded to accommodate more. There could be a special wing for CEOs of Wall Street Banks, so they could commiserate among themselves about why all their bonuses were stripped from them, applied back to reduce the $10,000,000,000,000 National Debt they helped bring us. There could be a wing for American Automakers who refused to recognize how their rightful role in America's future was to wean us off the desire for bigger and bigger SUVs, but instead to use their expertise to show us the way to energy self-sufficiency, with energy efficient transportation, instead of buying up and burying all inventions to that end.

And, of course, there's the Main Hall of NeoCON Horrors, where everyone in the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice/Wolfowitz/etc Administration can be incarcerated for the rest of their natural lives. 

No, Mr. Obama, the best idea is not to close Guantanamo. The best idea is to keep it alive, dedicated to a new purpose, one that says to the World this: America is still a land of free democratic people, who sometimes--like all people on our Planet--will make mistakes. Converting Guantanamo to a higher purpose can become a magnificent statement of all the principles our Nation was founded to celebrate.

Think it over, please, Mr. Obama. Guantanamo, and what you do with it, could become a shining example of your legacy, symbolizing a turning point in our Nation's history.

 

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For 17 years Gene Messick studied and taught Design at NC State University and Cornell. Co-founding the Visual Design Program at NCSU, he established the Photography Program at Cornell, where he taught in the Architecture Department, most interested (more...)
 

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