The general who set up the prison at Guantanamo Bay says it’s about time that we shut it down. It’s interesting to see how much he’s flipped sides on the issue, and how willing he is to admit that the prison was opened out of fear– a fact that everybody should know. The United States was extremely scared after 9/11, and we acted as a nation who’s extremely scared would act by jumping to extremes. We failed to realize that the interrogation strategy largely seems to fail and that there would be negative perceptions of us throughout the world by opening the prison. Hopefully the government will also flip sides on the issue and start to understand exactly why the prison needs to be shut down.
Guantanamo just celebrated its 12th year anniversary of being open yesterday. I wrote a post about Guantanamo about a month ago, but I’ll reiterate– it’s time to shut down Gitmo.
The article cited above makes a couple really good arguments– the most convincing one is the sheer lack of success in the prison. Of all 779 prisoners, only 7 have actually been convicted of providing support for terrorists. That’s an incredibly low success rate– less than 1%. That clearly makes the prison incredibly unsuccessful and practically useless. The article also indicates that of the other 772 prisoners, of the ones who were a part of terrorist organizations, their detainment in Guantanamo meant that they could never be put on a military trial.
Along with being a massive waste of effort, Gitmo is a massive waste of money. The article cited above also indicates that over the last 12 years, we’ve spent almost $5.25 billion on the prison total. It costs roughly 75 times the amount of money spent on federal prisons. Our economy is clearly still in an awful situation– spending less money on an ineffective prison would be an excellent way for the United States’ government to cut costs and save some money.
I’ve made a couple other arguments in a previous post about why we should close down Gitmo as well. It’s time for it to end.