Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Costs of closing Gitmo

The glee the wingnuts are showing in talking about the release of Uighurs onto beach resorts is the usual obscenity. Yes, these former prisoners are back in freedom, having lives. It cost us something. It also cost us something to imprison them, to keep them for years in unjustifiable imprisonment, to run a system of injustice, that made an unyet reckoned number of the innocent people our prisoners and subjected them to unjust treatment that the former maladministration tried to pass off as an improvement over their lives before we behaved despicably. It also cost innumerable lives by recruiting people to rebellion against our injustice.

When asked by the United States to accept a group of hard-to-place inmates from the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Palauan President Johnson Toribiong mulled the request as both a head of state and a criminal defence lawyer.

The 62-year-old says he considered the plight of 13 Chinese men like he would have other defendants during two decades as one of this Pacific island's top litigators.

The men, ethnic Uighurs, had gotten a raw deal, he said, jailed for years without trial. Now they were not considered dangerous terrorists after all. No country had been willing to take the Chinese Muslims – before Palau.

"These people are not monsters," said Toribiong, looking pensive, even professorial. "They should be presumed innocent, because no one has proven them guilty."

That members of the wingnut element that enabled those crimes are now making a show of regretting the cost of this one good thing that this country has done in its war on Iraq or terrorism, depending on what it was claiming to fight against at the time, should hardly surprise us. But while they piled billions on this country, this generation and those to come, they weren't bothered about the debt. Now that the victims of our war crimes are released, the cost is a problem.

This shows the sense of values that the right wing espouses. Health care has caused 60% of all bankruptcies. Our country lags the world in quality of health care and education. Our healthy economy has fallen to pieces, and the underemployed is close to 17% at last count. The wingnuts still insist that with just a bunch more tax cuts, this time, really, the business community welfare recipients will give jobs to U.S. citizens instead of sending them overseas, unlike they've done with tax incentives under their regime.

No, pictures of people we unjustly detained finally free from our prison doesn't make me mad at all. It makes me rejoice.

I would release everyone not guilty of crimes if I could.

And thank you, presidents behaving like the statesmen they should be. It will cost you with those who have no sense of justice.

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