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In our opinion: Fate of the Guantanamo Bay prison needs to be resolved promptly

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  • McMurphy St George, Utah
    July 13, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    While most agree that the status of Gitmo should be resolved that does not mean it will be. Despite the rhetoric Congress seems content with the status quo on a range of issues both sides agree need to resolved -- Gitmo, immigration, infrastructure, and tax reform to name a few. Expecting Congress to take on anything harder than designating National Pickle Week is foolish and naive.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    July 9, 2014 5:22 p.m.

    Esquire

    The Bergdhal trade was good? Releasing terrorists to attack us again someday is the right thing to do? Yeah, that makes sense. In Wonderland. Which brings me to the main point, this war is not over. Al Queda and other Muslim terrorist organizations have not declared peace. These terrorists should be kept in prison as long as the people they worked for continue to wage terror war against everyone.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    July 8, 2014 6:08 a.m.

    There will always be terrorism. We do it, they do it. Fact of life.

    There is also going to be endless wars. We do it, they do it.

    However, we could try to set an example by controlling terrorism and engaging in endless war with a nod to legal and treaty standards. We are not doing that now. They don't either.

    We are truly a nation of laws, and, once upon a time, a nation with a moral compass. Its time to find that compass again, and follow what we know to be the right way of doing things. Until that time we are just another bully, rogue nation, not different from Iran, North Korea, Russia or the other horribles out there.

  • BU52 Provo, ut
    July 7, 2014 4:20 p.m.

    Try them in military courts either release or execute them, but keep the land in Cuba, just to rub it in Castro's face. Who knows when the Republicans take over they might want to use the prison to house the current administration and IRS agents.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    July 7, 2014 3:24 p.m.

    @ 2 bits, the voices on the right on this are loud (McCain, Graham, etc.). But as I said, I would tell the Dems the same thing. The Dems who say no are being bullied by the screams of the GOP/Fox/Rush crowd, and they lack courage to do what's right. This editorial has it right.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 7, 2014 2:00 p.m.

    ISIS, AlQaeda, etc, don't have this problem. They don't have a GITMO. They just execute prisoners on the spot when captured. Remember the beheading of even innocent truck drivers and contractors they suspected of being sympathetic with infidels?

    Today in Iraq you can be executed without trial for even being suspected of being the wrong branch of Islam. I suspect an American captured would get the same treatment (unless they could use them for awhile for media attention and money).

    It's hard to have a GITMO when you execute your prisoners on the spot. So maybe... having a GITMO is not 100% a bad thing. At least it indicates we have a little humanity left. At least we don't just execute them without a trial on the spot.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    July 7, 2014 12:43 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal: "We are no longer at 'war.'"

    Not true, Jihadists are fighting just as hard now as ever. Look at what's happening now in Iraq if you don't believe it. The only difference is... they call themselves ISIS and ISIL now. Besides, the war on terror will never end until the last radical Islam is captured and sent to Gitmo... or dispatched some other way.

    "If you ever want OUR POWs released, then we must play by the same rules."

    Barack Hussein Obama has an alternative... trade our guys for terrorists something on the order of the five terrorists that were just released in exchange for the captured American soldier.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 7, 2014 12:20 p.m.

    To those who think it's just Republicans keeping GITMO from closing (LDS Liberal, Esquire, etc)....

    Democrats had the White House AND a Super-Majority for 2 years... why didn't they do it? Remember... There was nothing Republicans could do to stop them...

    And why did Democrats vote it down (with help from Republicans)?

    Could it be they know something the rhetoric mongers on MSNBC DON'T know?

    ==============

    IF you want the REAL story... go to PolitiFact (not Chris Mathews or Rachel Maddow).

    Even the Huffington Post knows the real story...

    Google "Senate Votes To Block Funds For Guantanamo Closure" and read their article. This is the first paragraph...

    "WASHINGTON — In a rare, bipartisan defeat for President Barack Obama, the Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to keep the prison at Guantanamo Bay open for the foreseeable future and forbid the transfer of any detainees to facilities in the United States.

    Democrats lined up with Republicans in the 90-6 vote that came on the heels of a similar move a week ago in the House"....

    See... not just Republicans (unless there are only 6 DEMOCRATS and 90 Republicans in the Senate)...

  • Swiss Price, Utah
    July 7, 2014 11:53 a.m.

    Open the Gates and let them out in Cuba. Then we will have a place to put all those crossing the southern border illegally. Great medical and housing facilities already prepared. One night when all is quiet pull out our people and leave the gates open.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Chihuahua, 00
    July 7, 2014 11:37 a.m.

    Esquire

    Once again. I am not a Republican. I despise them as much as the Democrats. Who made the rule that I have to be for one party or the other? I'm not even on the Bird. But I am smart enough to know that the Globalist control both parties in the United States. I know any talk about closing Guantanimo Bay is just talk as long as the Globalist are in power.

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    July 7, 2014 10:58 a.m.

    We could do like Vietnam where we declared victory and went home. Here all that we have to do is declare victory, which Obama has already done, and let them all go home to fight another day. That seems to be what we are headed for.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    July 7, 2014 10:56 a.m.

    @ Anti Bush-Obama, you can't be serious. This is much more than a partisan political issue or a reason to attack the current President. Republicans have fought resolution of this and threatened the President over moving prisoners (remember the proposal to move them to federal prisons?). The GOP was mad because of the recent prisoner exchange. I don't care what the rationalization is, this problem needs to be finally resolved. And to the extent any Democrats side with the GOP on this issue, I will say the same to them. Obama has wanted resolution for some time and the Washington establishment has said no. Cheap shots at the President serve no purpose whatsoever.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Chihuahua, 00
    July 7, 2014 10:20 a.m.

    Never going to Happen as long as the current Government is in power. All they will do is just talk about closing it or close it and relocate it. Get the globalist out of power and it will really close.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    July 7, 2014 10:17 a.m.

    "...In our opinion: Fate of the Guantanamo Bay prison needs to be resolved promptly...".

    Or at least not until the Republicans have milked this issue for all its political worth.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    July 7, 2014 10:16 a.m.

    Let's get the Military Tribunals going and get the bad guys taken care of. Then we can close Gitmo until we need it again.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 7, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    @LDS Liberal,

    You REALLY think Terrorists have called a truce???

    You really do have a strange (partisan inspired) sense of reality.

    =====

    Truth is... even if we withdraw our military... nothing is over. Terrorists are STILL looking for ways to harm infidels, especially Americans and Jews.

    If you weren't aware of that fact... you need to get a better news source.

    The people these detainees worked with in that past (and they people they would work with again IF released) have THIS VERY WEEK renewed their threats and desires to harm Americans anywhere and anytime they can! It's NOT OVER!

    ========

    You can go back to your pre-9/11 mentality and presume nothing's going on, because your hero has calmed everything... but these recent threats are specifically aimed at Obama (not Bush). So at least in THEIR minds... NOTHING has changed.

    YOU can pretend it's over now... but it's not. Not by ANY stretch of the partisan imagination.

    So go ahead and quote your rhetoric and the Geneva Convention... but this is different. These are NOT POWs. The conflict with AlQueda isn't over. It will NEVER be over (for them)...

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 7, 2014 9:27 a.m.

    Re: "Many of the issues surrounding the legal status of the Guantanamo detainees remain unsettled."

    No they don't. The legal status of persons detained on the battlefield fighting against America is absolutely clear. Has been all along. There's not the slightest legal doubt.

    It's the political status of reckless, feckless liberal politicians that is here at issue. And that issue is best presented as, "When will they lie down and accept the status of political carrion that they've so carefully earned and so richly merit?"

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 7, 2014 9:21 a.m.

    @BrentBot
    Salt Lake City, UT

    Why should we treat these combatants any differently than we treated enemies previously?

    ========

    1. We are no longer at "war".
    2. per the Geneva Convention Article 118:
    "Prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities."

    If you ever want OUR POWs released,
    then we must play by the same rules.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    July 7, 2014 9:21 a.m.

    JBQ
    "Once their time in prison in South Carolina is done, then they can be charged again by the U.S. military."

    Not for the same crime. Says so in the US Constitution... 'nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb...'

    "It is just plain wrong to bring radical Islamists into the American civil justice system."

    Civilian court is much preferred by the Commander-in-Chief for jihadist criminals since he needn't sign a death warrant which would go contrary to certain teachings.

    The simple answer to the problem is to just change the name from Gitmo to say... 'Rehab Camp for Wayward Jihadists.'

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    July 7, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    Guantanamo is a stain on our constitutional republic. Try them in military courts, sentence them if they are found guilty, and close that concentration camp.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 7, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    Of course Guantanamo needs to be resolved. But so do a bunch of other things the are even harder to resolve. Like Terrorism, Poverty, Hunger, Education, Drug Addiction, Prostitution, Sin, War, man's inhumanity to man. Bush and Cheney weren't the start of all evil, and they can't resolve it.

    Last time I checked... Obama has been president for two terms... and Guantanamo is still not resolved. So the Bush haters can't just blame it on him anymore. And it's not just Republicans either.

    Google these headlines and read the truth...

    "Democrats in Senate Block Money to Close Guantánamo" - New York Times

    "Senate Democrats Reject Obama's Request for Funds to Close Guantanamo Bay Prison" - Washington Post

    "Democrats on Capitol Hill Rebel Against President Obama's Guantanamo Bay Plan" - ABC

    The blinded partisans who see anything and everything through the filtered lenses of their partisan stereotypes and their rhetoric inspired selective vision of reality... will see it as just a Republican problem, or just Bush's problem... but obviously that's not reality. It's not the whole story.

    All this angst over 155 people.. who KILLED thousands in their own countries AND in America.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    July 7, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    Trying enemy combatants in civilian courts is a nice idea, but it is totally unworkable.
    When the police arrest somebody, they cordon off the crime scene and carefully gather evidence so they can build a case in court. The military does not have that option. The battle itself will probably destroy much of the evidence or at least taint it.

    It can take years to bring such as case to trial in civilian court. The storage of evidence, availability of witnesses, etc. are all problematic. Military personnel get moved around a lot. It would be very costly to bring everyone together for a trial. Most people tried under these circumstances would be acquitted due to the above mentioned issues and others.

    Terrorists are never in uniform. They always try to blend in with the local population. This is what spies do. Spies are executed.

    Never in the history of this nation have constitutional rights been extended to enemies in war. Doing so now would be very foolish.

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    July 7, 2014 7:52 a.m.

    As a Navy veteran, you have to look at this issue in the context of a war. These are prisoners of war and do not have the same rights as someone who "jaywalks" Soldiers in our military can be tried under the UCMJ and then again in civilian courts for crimes in the community. I served on a ship where two sailors were convicted of murder. Once their time in prison in South Carolina is done, then they can be charged again by the U.S. military. It is important for the security of the United States for these individuals charged with heinous crimes to be taken to a military tribunal first and then if necessary taken to a civilian court. German military criminals were tried at Nurenberg in a military court and then in most cases, they were hanged. It is just plain wrong to bring radical Islamists into the American civil justice system.

  • dave4197 Redding, CA
    July 7, 2014 7:52 a.m.

    close Guantanamo, give the place back to Cuba, get out
    send the prisoners somewhere else, US military prisons preferable
    give the Cubans back their land, we don't need it strategically or otherwise
    end Guantanamo as a US place

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    July 7, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    This editorial makes sense and is correct (with one exception). The right wing needs to stop their abuse of Constitutional principles. Either provide a trial to the detainees or send them home. Enough already.

    So, the wrong thing is the face-saving, bone toss to the right wing about "the release of five Taliban commanders being held there in exchange for U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl." It was the right thing to do. Period.

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    July 7, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    Guantanamo should remain open to house all combatants until their faction (Al Quaeda, Taliban, Syrian/Iraqi fighters) cease hostilities. Why should we treat these combatants any differently than we treated enemies previously? These terrorists should not be accorded the luxury of a civilian court. And we shouldn't be giving them medical care better than we give to our Veterans in the VA.

    Obama should be tried for treason for releasing five Al Quaeda leaders in exchange for an Army deserter.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 7, 2014 6:45 a.m.

    In MY opinion: Fate of the Guantanamo Bay prison needs to be resolved
    by Bush/Cheney and ALL the Repulicans responsible for it promptly.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    July 7, 2014 5:59 a.m.

    And just which political party does not approve of closing Guantanamo?