Monday, June 13, 2005

My Thoughts on Gitmo

Much is being talked and written about "torture and abuse" at Gitmo. Organizations and non Americans have told us again and again how horrid Americans are. That Americans who proclaim their patriotism join in on these accusations is something I will never understand. Why this occurs is something that has developed in the past fifty years. Last night I watched War Stories about the first black pilots who functioned so heroically and with such patriotism while still subjected to racial separation in the service and the very overt racism at home. One of these distinguished black Americans said something to the effect that "we were Americans at war and we did our best for our country no matter how the racism hurt. We put that aside and fought for our country." That is not an exact quote but conveys the message he spoke.

My question to the politicians and ordinary Americans is why could these black patriots overlook their common mistreatment by fellow citizens and still offer their best to their country because "we are at war".The elected minority leaders along with those who did not support the USA going to war would rather criticize our nation because their personal wishes are not the policy of the land. WE ARE AT WAR!

I agree we hold ourselves to a higher standard than the atrocities that have been committed against our captive military in previous wars. I am against inflicting severe bodily harm to any human being. Eliciting fear in those enemies caught on the battlefield fighting against us is hardly something to wine about. Sleep deprivation eventually may lead to eliciting information and in my way of thinking is not torture or abuse. If this is decided to be abuse, I look for the arrest and arraignment of all colicky newborns for the torture and abuse of their parents due to inflicting sleep deprivation. Humiliation is survivable and I doubt there are many Americans who have not been subjected to such humiliation. Remember being forced to take showers in view of others following phys ed classes? This may not be common today, but it was frequently done to many of us during our prepubescent years while many were ahead or behind in developing the expected changes in our bodies. Somehow we survived this torture and abuse.

I am proud of the humane way in which these deadly prisoners have been treated (with a few exceptions) in that our government feeds, clothes, provides for personal hygiene and provides for their religious practices. We did not have to provide Korans, paint arrows pointing to Mecca, sound the prayer times etc. for this group of killers.
We are and have been respectful of their basic physical and spiritual needs. Emotional pain is surely not greater in these terrorists than the emotional pain experienced by families sending off their loved ones to serve our nation in dangerous areas or the emotional pain of seeing a loved one comes home lacking limbs, vision and even life. This is emotional stress that I doubt very much these terrorists feel.

If we close the prison, do Americans really want them to be housed on US soil, in our prisons and pay for their legal defense? Are these men who have killed or attempted to kill our military to be treated as if they deserve our constitutional guarantees which belong to our citizens? Are those who most loudly protest the lack of legal representation members of the legal profession who can bill our government for legal fees and jam up our already overcrowded courts. Are American citizens awaiting court dates to b e held for longer periods of time while our courts and judges do all they can to assist terrorists get their day in court?

I believe they should continue to be held so long as WE ARE AT WAR! Final adjudication can wait until terrorists cease their activities. Then send them home for time served or turn them over to their own governments for trial and punishment if found guilty under their countries legal systems.

In the meantime, the focus belongs on our brave military and the families who support them. We hear little of the good deeds, the heroism and downright human goodness demonstrated by the majority of those who serve. Let us support and honor them now and when they return home so that never again do our men and women in uniform need to wait forty years or so be recognized for their service and for their worth to our nation. Read the post below regarding the experience of a Vietnam Vet and Ann Margaret.

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