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June 22, 2005
GUANTANAMO BLOWBACK FROM JAMES LILEKS:
Q: What is Gitmo?
A: Contrary to what some suggest, it does not stand for "Git mo' Peking chicken for Muhammad, he wants a second portion." It stands for "Guantanamo," a facility the United States built to see if the left would ever care about human rights abuses in Cuba. The experiment has apparently been successful.
Hysteria and political point-scoring have turned this into a joke. That happens when you overplay your hand. As Ryan Sager observes:
There's an important debate to be had in this country about just how far we're willing to go in our interrogations. But it's a difficult debate to even get started when one side thinks that we should be extremely concerned with the possibility that someone, somewhere might have desecrated the Korans of the people responsible for the murders of Daniel Pearl, Nick Berg, Fabrizio Quattrocchi, three-thousand Americans and now hundreds upon hundreds of Iraqi civilians. . . .
While it would be extremely easy to gloat over this continued meltdown, there's simply nothing here to be happy about, unless one is among the most partisan of Republican partisans.
For those who have supported the war all along -- or at least want to see us win -- it's sad not to have a loyal opposition to help keep the administration honest.
Indeed. Marc Danziger offers some perspective. So does Donald Sensing. Unfortunately, some people are taking a different line.
Interestingly, only 20% of Americans think that the Guantanamo prisoners are being treated unfairly, which is pretty astonishing given the colossal amount of uniformly negative Guantanamo-related coverage. This suggests that overplaying their hand has been as big a mistake as I thought.
UPDATE: Don Surber offers political perspective.