President Obama is making another attempt to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and stop the farce of military commissions. The prison holds nearly 800 prisoners and only a few have even been charged with a crime. Of all the detainees that have been held at Guantanamo Bay only 3 have ever been convicted of any crime while in the Federal court system at least 195 terrorists have been convicted since 2001. Federal courts have been much more effective in convicting terrorists than military commissions.
Holding a detainee at Guantanamo Bay costs about $15,000 per month while prisoners in a Federal penitentiary cost about $2,000 per month. That makes the Federal penitentiary system over 7 times more cost efficient. Our Federal supermax prisons hold the worst criminals in the country safely and can do the same with terrorists. It’s an insult to our intelligence when Republicans use fear-mongering claims that terrorists will escape and kill us in our beds.
Let’s face it the only real reason that these people are held in Guantanamo Bay is so that our government can avoid legal requirements; such as having to appear in court to show cause for continued detention of the prisoner. The right to a speedy trial and the right to confront the accuser would also be imposed if the detainees were held on undisputed American soil. This isn’t about anything more than skirting our constitutionally guaranteed rights and we should all be very afraid of that.
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