Guantanamo Bay, the Parody

Am I Not Human: Guantana-Close

Jose 9 Comments

Guantanamo Bay, the Parody

Guantanamo Bay, the Parody

This morning on NY1, I saw some random meeting between some of the families of 9/11, and, when they were asked about President Obama’s closing (essentially) of the Guantanamo Bay detention center, they were outraged, OUTRAGED, and wanted them tried immediately. While I sympathize with their point of view about 9/11, I also have to wonder if they can get past the myopia and noticed that, like most Americans, they’ve been hosed.

Imagine having 775 hostages (because the word “detainees” sounds like the US government was following the Geneva Conventions to the letter, and it wasn’t) who were allegedly enemy combatants in a camp somewhere in Cuba, and very few people had any idea when any of them would be tried or whether any of them were even going to live. Our country just kept them there and whenever they felt like it, you released them. And they did it with all the money they needed because it would a) show the Muslim world that our country means business and b) they can and no one’s going to stop them.

I don’t know about you, but to say that the logic of having those hostages contained (in a foreign land, mind you) is akin to refrigerating a rotten egg: a reactive solution to a pre-existing problem. If we’re saying that the 775 original hostages or prisoners of war were guilty as sin, then why were 505 of them released through May ’08? Why were only three of them actually convicted of anything? Why, then, if they are just detained, did we decide to let them rot there when, upon release, they’ll be even more invigorated and create even more soldiers when they go back to their respective countries?

Now, I’m not saying that the detainees were innocent men (seems like there are no women in there). I just know that, as far as 9/11 is concerned, I just think that the families are sniffing up the wrong trees (or forest in this case) when it comes to finding who helped blow up the buildings. Rather than demand for answers from those hostages, they should demand answers from the ex-Commander-in-Chief who’s preferred corporate interest over true peace in the Middle East, who planted troops for private infantry than any actual fighting, and who used all that money we now so desperately need for this tomfoolery.

Or for that matter, why your families were used as the “image” of the average suffering American, but when it came time for answers, those using your images never really responded. I’m glad we’re getting rid of Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp; maybe we can focus on the prisons in the United States first.

Jose, who doesn’t always advocate for the devil …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Comments 9

  1. Carl

    The kicker for me is that the US Government acknowledges that a majority of those at Guantanamo have never engaged in terrorist acts. They were rounded up in group raids, etc. and since we had no real means to try these individuals, they just languished in the detention center. And the true failure on our part, is the inevitable number that will come out galvanized against any United States institution, simply for having been wrongly imprisoned.

    It feels like these families the media outlets are interviewing are forwarding their own agendas of hatred, instead of really taking to heart their loved ones’ sacrifice. It perverts what we all lost that day.

  2. Scott Elias

    We need to be careful not to generalize our anger for what happened on 9/11 into hatred for an entire group of people. Did some of those at Gitmo do some very bad things? Most certainly. But are there people being held there with no ties to any terrorist activities at all? Sadly, yes.

    I’m not so much opposed to doing what needs to be done to keep the US safe, but something feels wrong about holding prisoners indefinitely with little or no hope for due process. They literally don’t know when or if they’ll ever be tried or released.

    I was pretty ignorant on the whole issue until I heard an April 2007 episode of “This American Life” called Habeas Schmabeas. Regardless of which side of this issue you come down on, it’s worth a listen. And at $0.99, it’s a bargain.

    Again – it’s not that I don’t think anyone should be held accountable for their crimes, I just think we need to have some idea that a crime has actually been committed and then move these people through the system so that they can either be sentenced or freed to get on with their lives.

  3. NYC Educator

    It was just one more iteration of the Bush Doctrine, which really boiled down to, “We will do what we want, when we want to, however we want to, and anyone who dares question us is unpatriotic and unworthy.”

    Not at all dissimilar to the Bloomberg Doctrine, when you get right down to it.

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    Jose

    Carl, it’s like herding cattle and thinking it’s going to get us quality meat, especially if the processing of those meats is still contaminating, though I don’t want to use that analogy for fear that I’m treating these people just like our government has.

    Scott, you bring up a few good points to ponder about. There has to be a sense that everything’s being done with the best intentions and best practices in mind. Especially in these times, we have to be careful as to whose our “enemy” when sometimes the enemy is us.

    NYC, that seems to be the trend of people in power these days in general. Now we know what tyranny feels like. ANd we thought Giuliani was bad. I never thought I’d say this, but after today’s snow day, I thought we might want to consider him back … just kidding.

  5. Chayim

    NYC Educator, you said it exactly right. It pits the 300 million Americans against the other 6 billion non-Americans on this planet. The trouble was, when Bush was re-elected 4 years ago, it meant the 300 million Americans supported this view.

    I am not American. I’m not Muslim. I live in a Muslim-majority country. 10 years ago, I was very pro-American. You know, the sort of people Bush thought would take over the government in Iraq once they removed Saddam.

    Today, my friends and me do not know where to hide our face. After years of telling everyone how wonderful America is, how we should emulate them, what Bush and his gang did, showed everyone how stupid we were to believe all that rhetoric about democracy and liberty. Seen from a non-western perspective, their policy was “we’ll do what ever we like, for our (America) own benefit, because we’ve got the biggest guns”. In many non-western country, the pro-western, secular, democrats are gone. Thoroughly discredited, they’ve turned away from politics to do other things.

    After 8 years of Bush, people who once would have called America friends, now hold the opinion that “if the stupid Islamic terrorists attacked and killed Americans, well they deserved it, and they asked for it”. Not that we’ll give them money to buy bombs. But will stand aside and clap. America today *is* the evil empire.

    Their new government has a short time to prove to the world that they are not as evil as the old one. Not that anyone has very high hopes.

  6. Zakariya

    “It seems like there were no women”

    You are forgetting the 12 year old girl they “detained” there, because she was such a big threat.

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