That's the view of a couple retired generals who've been trotted out by Human Rights First. They do not blame Greg Craig or Barack Obama for the failure to meet the January 22nd deadline to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. They also don't blame the ninety senators who voted to deny the administration funds to close the facility. And they don't blame the Bush administration's filing system and sloppy paperwork, as Greg Craig has done.
Some of the fear issues that are being raised in this are really unfortunate. It gets people excited about things they shouldn't be excited about and impedes doing what is critical to this country. Get that damn symbol off the table," said retired Gen. David Maddox, a former Army commander-in-chief for Europe. "We take a setback every time somebody, whether it's the vice president or his daughter comes out and says the things that they sayâ€¦.We have to get out there again and just keep pounding."...
The former military officers, whose Washington visit was organized by Human Rights First, argued rather bitterly that the Cheneys have exaggerated the risks of bringing Guantanamo prisoners from Cuba to the United States.
"Can you imagine getting a terrorist from Guantanamo convicted and put in a federal penitentiary in your town?" Maddox asked. "Have you ever checked who the hell's in there already? Have any of them gotten out? The person who we're putting in is probably a heck of lot less dangerous than most of them who are already in there."
Never mind that almost 100 of the detainees held at Gitmo are Yemenis and the Obama administration, like the Bush administration, is wary of sending them back home because of the duplicitous Yemeni government -- al Qaeda terrorists have a habit of "escaping" from jail in Yemen. Never mind the lack of cooperation from our European allies. For years the Europeans complained about Gitmo, but it turns out they are actually not too keen on taking in terrorists. And never mind the fact that the American people don't want the Gitmo detainees here for obvious reasons -- despite General Maddox's great faith that they are no more dangerous than your average pick-pocket. Never mind all that because there is still the little problem that, you know, there are a lot of dangerous terrorists down at Gitmo whom even the Obama adminstration doesn't want to free or transfer or put before a court.
It would've been nice if Obama had thought this through before blindly ordering Gitmo closed at the end of his first year in office -- a move the majority of the American people did not support then and do not support now. Because Obama didn't think this through, however, his surrogates are now reduced to attacking the Cheneys.