As the World Burns: Why Gitmo Must Go – 1/25/2010

Well, it’s January 2010 and President Barack Obama has only seven days to meet his promise of closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, putting an end to a dark, embarrassing chapter in the nation’s history. While we wait, try to pass the time by enjoying the new season of “24.”

However, there is great doubt that the detention center will close by the end of the month because of the Christmas bomber, along with the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Al-Qaeda gaining influence in Yemen.

At the same time, most Americans aren’t that comfortable with closing Gitmo so soon because it would release suspected terrorists back to their homeland and out in the world. It’s even scarier when one in five Americans support the use of torture against suspected terrorists (based on a May, 2009 CNN survey).

Despite how effective and justifiable torture has appeared on “24,” the use of it in the real world is not effective and it violates ethical values that this nation holds to high regard.

Torture only works in “24” because Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) and the audience know for a fact that the person he is torturing is a terrorist.

In the real war on terror, knowing who is a threat is not that easy. The intelligence that the CIA and the military obtains by a variety of paid informants could be false. With a crumbling economy in Afghanistan and Iraq, anyone will say anything to support their families.

Hence, chances are an innocent person could get captured and tortured until they say what the interrogator wants to know. It’s a lot like a game of pink belly, only replace saying something falsely embarrassing to false information and getting slapped in the stomach with 50,000 volts of electricity.

When someone is enduring such horrendous pain, they will say anything just to end the ordeal. Chances are the so-called “secret weapons factory” the suspect then points out could be a medical clinic or school.

In the end both the victim and the integrator are left with memories that will be haunting them for life.

The alternative to torture is to actually investigate a terrorist bunker by using proper detective skills and crime scene investigative techniques (like on “CSI”). It’s more effective in locating suspected terrorists and breaking up Al-Qaeda (or any other groups like it).

But if tormenting an innocent person until they admit to a lie is their method, then don’t expect democracy to prevail over terrorism. So long as Gitmo is in business, then just enjoy the torture porn as the world burns.

Written for La Voz Weekly
1/25/2010
Original Article: As the World Burns: Why Gitmo Must Go

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About Stan Rezaee
I'm a writer from San Jose who has contributed to several online and print publications.

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