Gitmo: Myth vs. Reality
Those pushing to close down Guantanamo Bay might want to read an op-ed by Air Force colonel and chief prosecutor in the Defense Department’s Office of Military Commissions Morris D. Davis in today's New York Times. As Col. Davis makes clear, the reality of Gitmo is a far cry from the myths put forward by its opponents:
Today, most of the detainees are housed in new buildings modeled after civilian prisons in Indiana and Michigan. Detainees receive three culturally appropriate meals a day. Each has a copy of the Koran. Guards maintain respectful silence during Islam’s five daily prayer periods, and medical care is provided by the same practitioners who treat American service members. Detainees are offered at least two hours of outdoor recreation each day, double that allowed inmates, including convicted terrorists, at the “supermax” federal penitentiary in Florence, Colo.Clearly, the standards being maintained at Gitmo are above and beyond what, some might argue, hardened Islamic terrorists deserve. But to demand further accomodations is beyond the pale. And why should terrorists who wear no uniform and subscribe to none of its precepts be accorded the rights of the Geneva Convention anyway?
Standards at Guantánamo rival or exceed those at similar institutions in the United States and abroad. After an inspection by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in March 2006, a Belgian police official said, “At the level of detention facilities, it is a model prison, where people are better treated than in Belgian prisons.”
But critics of Gitmo, who conveniently ignore that a growing number of those already set free have returned to the battlefield, will not be happy until the place is shut down and every last inmate is running amok.
Here's an idea: How about an "adopt a terrorist" program for those who are so eager to see the end of Gitmo?
Yeah, didn't think so.
Update: OpinionJournal.com editor and "Best of the Web" blogger James Taranto elaborates on the subject in "The Truth About Guantanamo."