Monday, June 27, 2005

Inside GITMO

A Congressional delegation toured the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay over the weekend, and emerged with gruding praise for the facility, and the military personnel who run it.

"What we've seen is evidence that we're making progress," noted Texas Congressman Sheila Jackson-Lee, best known for wondering if "the Hubble Space Telescope can see the flag our astronauts left on Mars" (sorry, I couldn't resist that one). In reality, the "progess" at Gitmo was made years ago, from the day the facility opened. Since the beginning, prisoners have been treated fairly and humanely, with appropriate respect for their cultural and religious beliefs. I found it fitting that the Congressional delegation received the same food served to the prisoners on that day. No one found fault with the menu, nor with the treatment the prisoners received. The "reality" of Gitmo is far removed from the crazed rhetoric of Dick Durbin, Howard Dean and Amnesty International.

Today's Minneapolis Star-Tribune has an interesting take on conditions at Gitmo, based on the experiences of a young National Guard officer who recently served at the detention facility. Not surprisingly, his recollections of Gitmo are very similar what the Congressional delegation saw over the weekend. The column, by Katherine Kersten, is somewhat remarkable, since the Star-Tribune is the same paper that accused Senator Durbin of being "soft" in his criticism of prisoner treatment at Gitmo.

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