Opinion: Guantanamo Bay prison symbolizes our nation’s inhumanity

In his presidential address to Congress, Donald Trump announced his intention to keep Guantanamo Bay prison open, vowing to “load it up with some bad dudes.”

Trump tweeted that “there should be no further releases” and promised to “bring back waterboarding and a hell of a lot worse.” When asked if torture works, Trump replied, “Yes, absolutely.”

As with many things, Trump seems ignorant of (or indifferent to) the fact that waterboarding and other means of torture are prohibited under the Geneva Conventions or that the United States has passed laws outlawing torture.

As John McCain, who alone in Congress has experienced torture, said in response to Trump, “The President can sign whatever he likes, but the law is the law. We are not bringing back torture in the United States of America.”

President Obama predicted, “History will cast a harsh judgement” on us for not closing Guantanamo. Nevertheless, he was unsuccessful in closing the prison due to Republican resistance that “placed politics above the ongoing costs to taxpayers, our relationships with our allies, and the threat posed to U.S. national security, . . . which hinders . . . our fight against terrorism.”

Only a handful of prisoners (41) remain at a facility that has cost taxpayers nearly $5 billion dollars since it opened in 2002. It currently costs more than $10 million annually for every prisoner housed there, the equivalent of providing housing for 1,000 homeless people or health care for more than 31,000 Americans. And the Trump administration has already begun a plan to spend many more millions on the facility.

Trump’s dark intentions for Guantanamo are no more evident than in his nomination of Gina Haspel as Director of the CIA. As Sen. Rand Paul, in opposition to her appointment, stated, Haspel was not only “one of the architects, designers, implementers” …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


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