This Day in History. "A country without a memory is a country of madmen." - George Santayana

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bad News #3: No Duh!

According to a recent CNN article, they claim that certain families of the victims of the September 11th attacks in 2001 do not want Obama to close Guantanamo Bay. Well, no shit! If you have ever heard anyone who lived in NYC at the time of the attacks recount their experience, it is clear that it was very traumatic, and rightfully so. I cannot even begin to imagine losing a loved one in the first tragic attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. I would never try to take that away from them. Getting to the point of my article however, that is not what is wrong with this story.

Let's go over the two major blatantly flawed parts of this article:

1) 9/11 victims want us to continue to hold "Muslim terrorists" at the Guantanamo Bay facility. No duh! This is not news. Anyone who has suffered the amount of tragedy/loss that many of these victim families have is going to want revenge/vengeance. Of course they are going to want to hold these people indefinitely because, honestly, they are going to be selfish (again, rightfully so). They want the retribution for their families' losses; I would most likely be the same way. It does not take a stretch of the imagination to know that this is how they would respond, CNN.

2) The point of an article is to inform, but frequently it is also meant to adjust public opinion or political action. What bothers me is that these victims are not experts. They are simply people more closely connected to the situation than many of the rest of us. Their responses are purely emotional and should not be held with any gravitas above that. These family members are not experts in terrorism, the Middle East, Islamic jihad, so beyond the fact that they lost someone, what does their opinion matter? How about interviewing someone who can tell us, USING FACTS, what could happen if we close down the Guantanamo Bay facility? I am open to either side of the coin if someone can reasonably argue why or why-not.

On one side, we hold these people indefinitely, further losing standing with the Muslim world (you know, those of whom we are trying to win "hearts and minds"), but also most of the developed nations for potentially violating the Geneva Convention. On the other side, we "release" these detainees into supermax prisons across the US, holding them on our soil, and charging them with crimes. Justice will be served either way. From an visibility standpoint, it would seem to make sense to go with option #2. The detainees would be separated, and less visible to the international media. We get so scared by the words "on our soil" as if they are going to breed Islamic terrorism in the prisons with the hour or so of time they will have out of their cells.

CNN, you can/should do better. The opinions of these victims' families matter to me about as much as asking an Average Joe on the street how he feels about closing Guantanamo. Nothing is resolved in my mind over whether we should or should not close the detainee facility. Just another "feel-good" filler piece to load the 24-hour news cycle crap bucket. Let the Today Show cover that shit and give me FACTS.

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