- Accuracy in Media - https://www.aim.org -

A Country Club Prison for Terrorists

The media’s pack mentality against the terrorist prison at Guantanamo was recently demonstrated in a David Ignatius column [1] in the Washington Post, where he noted that President Bush is “obviously tired of taking flak” about the prison and might therefore order it closed. This is what our media are good at-dispensing “flak” for a cause they believe in. In this case, the cause is freeing the prisoners at Guantanamo, or at least getting them transferred to some other place. The preoccupation of our media with this topic borders on the pathological. Why are they so determined to go to bat for suspected terrorists?

The case can actually be made that the U.S. has been too lenient on the prisoners and that they are being treated too nicely.

It goes without saying that reporters don’t want to focus on those released from Guantanamo who go on to terrorize or murder again. Consider the case of six French former Guantanamo inmates released by the U.S. and then put on trial in a French court on charges of having “links with a network plotting terrorism attacks,” as noted in a Reuters account [2]. Perhaps they should have remained at Guantanamo. Is that something worth taking a look at?

In an example of his own flak, a June 14 entry entitled “A Prison We Need to Escape,” [3] Ignatius shed crocodile tears for the suspected terrorists who committed suicide there. He wrote that claims by U.S. officials that the suicides were “asymmetric warfare” and “a good PR move” demonstrate that U.S. military personnel running the prison have been dehumanized and have become bad people. He explained, “The American officials spoke of the dead prisoners as if they inhabited a different moral universe. That’s what war does: People stop seeing their enemies as human beings and consign them to a different category.”

Has it ever occurred to Ignatius that terrorists do inhabit a different “moral universe.” The problem is that our enemies KILL human beings, including our fellow Americans.

The reference to “asymmetric warfare” reflects the fact that the terrorists use these deaths as a political weapon. Ignatius, who played right into the hands of the terrorists, seemed to buy into the propaganda that they were in despair.

His own paper, the Post, published evidence to the contrary on July 8, noting the claims of investigators that the “suicides” may actually have been carried out with the support of other detainees and that information about them was included in material marked “Attorney-Client Privilege,” suggesting that lawyers for the inmates may have been part of the plot.

The agenda behind the attacks on Guantanamo is to build up pressure to force the U.S. to turn these prisoners over to an international tribunal, probably run by the United Nations. One of the main proponents of this idea is Ken Gude of the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress. He has suggested that the prisoners be tried by something like the Lockerbie Tribunal, which was set up by the Clinton Administration and the U.N. to handle the Pan Am 103 terrorism case. The plane, carrying 189 Americans, was destroyed by a bomb over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988.

But the Lockerbie Tribunal ignored the culpability of Libya’s terrorist leader Moammar Gadhafi in the attack, and the one Libyan official who was found guilty was spared the death penalty. He ended up in a country club prison in Scotland, where he is living in a special wing of the prison with a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, shower, sitting room, an office with a computer and bookshelves, and entertainment center with television.

Is this what we want for the Gitmo terrorists in order to recognize and pay homage to their “humanity?”