Monday, April 18, 2016

Reality Check

While driving home from a weekend in the Poconos, my rather delightful Sunday afternoon was disturbed by a story on the radio concerning the transfer of 9 detainees from Gitmo to Saudi custody. What was incredulous was not the report itself, the actions of the current administration baffles any understanding, but the reporters rather outrageous description of these "gentlemen" as, and I quote; "political prisoners".

 To my mind at least, a political prisoner is someone incarcerated, justly or unjustly, for political activities. Dr. King in a Birmingham jail? Certainly. The Chicago 7? Arguably. These guys? NOT!!!

 A little research into the background of these "gentleman" reveals these actors were engaged in anything but legitimate political activities, unless you agree with Mao that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. Civil disobedience is not in their repertoire.

  All 9 were associated with either the Taliban, or Al Qaeda. Several of them were members of "The Dirty Thirty", captured while fleeing the bin Laden compound at Tora Bora.  Four of the nine were assessed as being "high" risk to pose a threat to the US, it's interests, and allies. The others a "medium" risk.

 Given the known recidivism rate of previously released Gitmo detainees why are we letting them go at all? A legitimate question perhaps but not my point, which is what has happened to our sense of self preservation that our view of mortal enemies has been so dramatically transformed?

 Legitimizing the aspirations of those who are trying to kill you, by comparing them to arguably commendable, legitimate, actors, is suicidal at best.

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