The Senate Democrats’ apparent decision not to fund the $80 million closing of Guantanamo links them, inextricably, to the cheap politics being played by Senate Republicans, especially the most neolithic member of that august body, Senator Jim Inhofe, who has submitted a bill that would prohibit any of the Guantanamo detainees from coming to the United States to stand trial or serve their sentences.
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’ll have more to say about how to treat terrorist detainees in my print column this week.