The U.S. Naval Base, at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was retained by America after it granted independence to the rest of Cuba, following the Spanish-American War.  It apparently was kept in order to provide our Military with better access to South America and the Caribbean.

Following the terrorists attacks on September 11, 2001, the George W. Bush Administration built the top-security prison there at perhaps an exorbitant price, since all of the building materials had to be shipped-in from the Mainland.  Over the past 13 years, a total of 779 men have been sent there, many of whom may very well have been there for bogus reasons.  Why were they sent to “GITMO”, rather than to top-security U.S. prisons?  Many other terrorists and serial killers are safely tucked-away in U.S. prisons. Establishing a separate prison, for just a handful of detainees, is both costly and unnecessary!

The answer might be that the former Administration wanted to place these men in an out-of-the-way location, where potentially they might be forgotten. Some have never been tried for a crime–terrorism or otherwise.  And some were never even charged with a crime.  The linked column, by Carol Rosenberg, in the Miami Herald is as follows:

Some time ago, I wrote that, although I subscribe to the NY Times and Washington Post on-line, and scan other news sources, I feel lost when i am away from South Florida.  The comprehensive coverage of South America and the Caribbean, in our two local newspapers, is better than all the rest.  Where else would someone be assigned to one story for 13 years and, oftentimes, Ms. Rosenberg is the only journalist at GITMO, day-in, day-out?  As I have noted before, our local papers regard it as their beat.

The linked column is well worth reading since it looks between the lines, taking what some feel is a boring topic, and making it interesting.  Consider just two points:  Why are we maintaining a prison at a cost of $2.7 Million per prisoner, with difficult access to lawyers and journalists?  The same people in Congress who claim to be Fiscal Hawks will not authorize President Obama to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Are there some in Congress who are continuing a cover-up, started by the last Administration?

The other point is somewhat of a legal one. Ms Rosenberg wonders why the American Court at GITMO has a motto: “Fairness; Transparency; Justice”.  Professor Eugene Fidell, of the Yale School of Law suggests that: the Court would not need a Motto if it were, in fact:  Fair; Transparent and Just.

Perhaps John Adams said it best, before he was President, in his rationale for successfully defending the British Redcoats at the Boston Massacre.  He said that (and I’m paraphrasing) if we do not provide those soldiers with a Fair Trial in our Courts, what good is our Rule of Law? I wish that the Bush Administration, which created that prison; the Members of Congress who refuse to allow it to close; and all of the political pundits who proclaim its importance would answer Mr. Adams’ question.


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