Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Friedman on Gitmo: I didn't really pay much attention to last week's article by The New York Times' Thomas Friedman urging the United States to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention center for terrorists.
For a couple of reasons: First, even if I tried really, really hard, I couldn't care less what the press in foreign countries thinks of Gitmo. Is the foreign press really concerned about the safety of the American people? Color me skeptical. Second, if we didn't have Gitmo, they'd have to invent it. So closing it solves nothing.
But when I read this bit over at Powerline, my top blew -- because I'd missed this little gem from Friedman.
If we have a case to be made against any of the 500 or so inmates still in Guantánamo, then it is high time we put them on trial, convict as many possible (which will not be easy because of bungled interrogations) and then simply let the rest go home or to a third country. Sure, a few may come back to haunt us. But at least they won't be able to take advantage of Guantánamo as an engine of recruitment to enlist thousands more.
Let me just pluck out a (not so) random number out of thin air and see if it strikes Friedman as a number of inmates that "may come back to haunt us."
The number I choose is 19.
Nineteen. Not a big number. It's only about 4 percent of those being held at Gitmo. Might that number be acceptable to Friedman? Or has Friedman forgotten those two huge holes in the ground on Manhattan, or the hole in the side of the Pentagon, or that field in rural Pennsylvania?
This is why you don't want even the allegedly semi-"sane" liberals in charge of protecting America. Let's let some of them go and if they come back to "haunt" us by, say, killing 3,000 Americans, then that's the price we have to pay to make the foreign press happy.
Will someone please smack Mr. Friedman with a clue-by-four?