The AP in their report today cited the U.S. Senate failed to pass an $80 million dollar request to close Guantanamo Bay by a 90 to 6 vote. This same article also reported: “last week in the House and underscored widespread apprehension among Obama's Democratic allies in Congress over the issue.” And here I thought members of both houses, no matter which party are sent to lead and not act apprehensively. First can you imagine any candidate running for any seat saying: “Well, I may be too afraid to cast a vote based on fear.” I for one would never vote for such a candidate and if he or she ran for re-election; forget about it.
This same article goes onto report: "Attorney General Eric Holder announced early Thursday. The suspect, Ahmed Ghailani, would be the first Guantanamo detainee brought to the U.S. and the first to face trial in a civilian criminal court." This is nothing new when it comes to our judicial system since it has already been done.
Ramzi Yousef, who was the mastermind of the 1993 ‘Twin Towers’ bombing was through due process, tried and convicted in a court of law. After his conviction, he was sentenced to life in prison at the Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado. He is of no threat to the population since those sentenced to this prison have little to no human contact. They sit in their cells 23 out of 24 hours per-day. Before he was caught, James Kallstrom, the former director of the FBI in New York stated: “The message is . . . you can run, but you cannot hide because we're going to put the resources in to get you," Case closed.
When it comes to domestic terrorism, one only has to look at Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols who were both tried and convicted for the Oklahoma City bombing to know we can try terrorists and bring it to a successful conclusion. Timothy McVeigh was executed and Terry Nichols now sits for life in the same Supermax prison as Ramzi Yousef receiving the same treatment.
Robert Gibbs who is the White House Press Secretary stated on behalf of President Obama that it "has not decided where some of the detainees will be transferred," and my guess it is due to NIMBYism. No one wants a terrorist sitting in a jail cell in their neighborhood. A rightful concern, but one must ask: Do we want Guantanamo Bay staying open where another terrorist attack can happen in our neighborhood since it is seen as a blight and the very reason for another attack? Me, I would rather see an alleged terrorist locked up in a jail cell awaiting trial with the rights of due process than another bomb going off.
If the senate and the White House need a road map as to how to handle these detainees, they only have to read a past article of mine: The turnip-truck government to see how Indonesia has handled terrorists.
In my column dated, May 9th, 2007, I wrote: “This past Sunday, the CBS program ‘Sixty Minutes’ interviewed a former terrorist named Nasir Abas. Through his defection from the terrorist group, Jemaah Islamiyah which is al Qaeda’s Southeast Asia franchise he has been able to give authorities an incredible amount of information as to how this organization operates.”
In this interview with Bob Simon, you will clearly hear why Nasir Abas switched sides and that was because those targeted, namely innocent civilians according to his Islamic faith were never meant to be the targets.
In my column, you will clearly read: “But, getting back to the stupidity of our own government, this was brought up within that interview by Sidney Jones, “Unlike the United States, which lets these people linger forever in Guantanamo or elsewhere, the Indonesian government has tried every single terrorist suspect in open and public trials in a way that serves as an incredible public information tool,"
Also contained within my column: “Jones is part of the “International Crisis Group, who has been tracking Jemaah Islamiyah for the last ten years” As a result of these open trials, Indonesian government “have made 300 arrests, and have held dozens of open trials. More than 100 hundred men have been convicted; three are on death row.”
I am of the opinion to try them in open court as Indonesia has done, instead of military tribunals given Indonesia's success rate.
The utter stupidity of our government as they endlessly debate this issue when Indonesia has already given them a blue-print. They have caught them, tried them with due process and have convicted them. Why can’t the United States? What is our problem when a tiny nation has blazed the trail in handling these terrorists?
As we laboriously sit on our thumbs thinking of ways of how to handle the closing of Guantanamo Bay and what to do with those held there, I am still of the firm opinion we still have a turnip-truck government. Note to senators and to the White House: Call up Indonesia.
Author’s email address, firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyrighted material: Should you wish to use any portion of this column, please email the author for permission.Print Article