Re: Obama Closes Gitmo

Guantanamo is to be closed, as John notes. But the devil is in the details. The Wall Street Journal editors explain:

The first practical question is where to transfer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the 245 or so other remaining Gitmo prisoners. Dangerous enemy combatants can’t simply be released into the streets. The Obama camp says that after reviewing the classified files, it will try to repatriate as many as safely possible. But 60 already cleared for release remain because they may be persecuted by their home countries. And even Mr. Obama’s vaunted diplomacy is unlikely to convince rights-protecting countries to resettle people he believes are too dangerous to release in the U.S. — and the more willing Mr. Obama is to release prisoners, the more difficult this problem will become.

The first question that comes to mind is: why go through all of this? Ah, but Guantamano has such a bad reputation. Yet it is largely based on misinformation about the actual treatment of detainees there. Supposedly we must put these very same people somewhere but we just don’t want to keep them at Guantanamo. At some level then we are inflating a PR problem — one which can be alleviated by creative people (rename the facility? build a new one in the parking lot?) — into a giant political and national security problem, especially for people living in the unlucky states that will play host to these very dangerous people.

If the Republicans are looking for a good issue, here is one: promise to filibuster (with the help of Democrats from affected states) any attempt (and the required funding) to put terror suspects within the confines of the U.S. Why should Democrats’ acute sensitivity about world opinion (emanating from that bastion of human rights, the UN) take priority over the peace of mind of our own citizens? It is baffling.