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article imageOp-Ed: Guantanamo, to Close or not to Close

By John Louie S. Ramos     May 26, 2009 in Politics
Last week U.S. President Barack Obama announced the permanent closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp as part of the administration's anti-terrorism policy.
Moments later former U.S. Vice-president Dick Cheney appeared on national television criticizing the move adding it would be a threat to national and probably worldwide security.
Guantanamo, one of the best prisons in the world today served as sanctuary for high profile-detainees that include the likes of Ali al-Bahlul, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and many other al-Queda leaders.
In an interview with NBC's today show, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates defended immediate shutdown of the Guantanamo prison adding that "the name itself is a condemnation"
Perhaps Gates was referring to the government so-called "harsh interrogation tactics" which enemy combatants call "torture".
Interrogations, Torture... You Be The Judge!
Apparently, there were numerous reports of inhumane activities such as sexual degradation, forced drugging, religious persecution and other forms of torture happening inside the four walls of the "island-paradise".
In 2004, three British-Muslim prisoners popularly known to media as the "Tipton Three" were released after being held in extrajudicial detention for two years.
In an interview with the "Tipton Three" conducted by BBC upon there released about five years ago, the three described significant abuse including;
Repeatedly being punched, kicked, forcibly injected drugs, photographed naked, sleep deprivation and sexual/religious humiliations.
Harsh? well, meet the cruelest of them all;
The three said that an inmate told them he was shown a video of hooded men - apparently inmates - being forced to sodomise one another.
Still, the reports of such immoral and perhaps anti-Catholic doings aren't yet confirmed and remain to be allegations until proven.
However, in 2006 CIA officials had confirmed the used of waterboarding on to some "high-value detainees"
Now a question lingers in me,
Is waterboarding not a form of torture?
You be the judge..
Guantanamo -- Why Close?
In a follow-up interview Gates added that US naval prison is damaging the country's image and serves as a propaganda tool, perhaps a battle cry of the al-Queda.
On Thursday, Obama made a speech in the National Archives in front of America's treasured documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights and vigorously defended his decision to shut down Guantanamo.
Hufflington Post reports, Obama said opening and continuing the military prison "set back the moral authority that is America's strongest currency in the world."
Guantanamo -- Why Not Close?
The arguments are valid and well-crafted upon the foundations of security, fear and money.
Cheney described the president's decision as "recklessness cloaked in righteousness."
He added that putting detainees into max-security prison instead of Guantanamo would endanger national security. He also stated that "tough" interrogations used on hardened terrorists mostly during the Bush administration were "legal, essential, justified, successful, and the right thing to do"
There are also a lot of hindrances along the way.
Fellow Democrats have denied the president the needed funds in order to close the modern-day Alcatraz.
What's The Real Deal?
The said proposal although not that popular to the general public is "the right thing to do" (coined by Cheney)
Closing Guantanamo would mean erasing all allegations of torture activities thus exhilarating all doubts.
Guantanamo is one of the finest security prison ever known to mankind nonetheless it also has his own flaws and asterisks.
The American people are perhaps the world's number one consumers of caffeine and tranquilizer.
If America is a great nation he should learn to trust amidst adversity. After all prisoners are not held behind bars to give the paranoids a sense of security.
Moreover, they are jailed up for them to change for the better. Sadly, Guantanamo is not a haven for change rather a symbol of Nazism.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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