Let’s Pretend

Might the terrorists of Guantánamo Bay be coming to a town near you?

Pentagon officials have inspected several military bases in the United States that could potentially replace the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, if President-elect Barack Obama fulfills his pledge to close the camp there. The sites visited included Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and Camp Pendleton, Calif., military sources said.

This is frowned upon in pop psychology circles as, “the geographic cure.” “You can’t run away from your problems,” they say. “Your problems will just come running after you.”

But maybe Obama can run away from his Guantánamo problem. If the problem is cosmetic, then a change of scenery might do the trick. To be sure, keeping enemy combatants at Guantánamo does create a real headache in terms of balancing military criminal justice, the civilian legal system, and national security. But the yes-we-canners were never really interested in all the legal incidentals. They just object to the symbolic downer of Guantánamo Bay: the fictionally flushed Qur’an, the myth of innocents being kept in solitary confinement, etc.