Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Creating a Terrorist

The U.S. is releasing another terror-suspect from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay this week. Bush had some interesting comments on Monday about the matter:

"You've got to understand the dilemma we're in. These are people that got scooped up off a battlefield attempting to kill U.S. troops. And I want to make sure, before they're released, that they don't come back to kill again."

In the president's mind, the detainees are already guilty of attempting to kill U.S. troops, so it's easy to understand his justification for their indefinite detention. But it's simply not the case that we caught these suspects on the battlefield with guns ablazin'. Furthermore, by Bush's logic, we should never have released the suspects we have thus far, because "to kill again" implies that they had killed a first time. Too bad they hadn't.

Putting Bush's tortured logic aside, I wonder what's going through the minds of these men who have been released. I wonder if they hate us even more now than before they were captured and falsely imprisoned? I wonder if by "scooping up" Muslims and holding them for three years, then letting them go free, that perhaps we've created new terrorists with a personal grudge against the U.S.? In times to come, will Guantanamo be a rallying cry for militant Muslims?

This whole mess stinks. It stinks because of what we took away from these men. And it stinks because of what they might do to innocent people in the name of revenge. We've made our bed, and now we've got to sleep in it.

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