Business Insider recently put together an exclusive on “the most notorious prison on earth.” One might want to ask if it’s “notorious” because it actually is one of the worst prisons on earth, or if it’s “notorious” because no one demands to get exclusives on other detention facilities around the world. North Korean gulags? Not interested. Iran? Egypt? Eh. A tour of the prison system of any number of South American countries? Yawn. China? That’s where they filmed Iron Man 3, man. Leave the Chinese alone!

Here is what Business Insider reported on the facility that has brand new $750,000 ‘Super Rec’ yard, a full Arabic library, DVDs, video games and quiet time after prayer calls five times a day:

After more than a decade of operations […] many say that conditions have improved [at Guantanamo Bay].

We had that impression after visiting the camp for five days in March. Although our tour of the facility was controlled by the military, we came away with the feeling that compliant detainees receive better treatment than most prisoners in the United States. For non-compliant detainees, like the 92 going on hunger strike right now, conditions remain highly restrictive.

As for torture, the Obama administration has ordered that it stop — believe what you will.

Indefinite detention? America is no longer adding detainees but has not figured out what to do with the ones that are already there.

The last time I checked, the debate over water boarding was far from over. Given that it’s done to our Navy SEALs and the guys who go through SERE school — and given that you have to be a really bad man to go through the vetting process and end up in Gitmo — it seems a bit premature for Business Insider to label it as such.

Regardless, here is the key sentence:

“America is no longer adding detainees but has not figured out what to do with the ones that are already there.”

No. Idea. What. To. Do.

We’re not talking about the evil “BushHitler” (one word). We’re talking about President Obama, the guy who was pretty darn cocksure that Gitmo would be closed within one year of taking office. Maybe he meant one year after he left office … eight years later? We’ll see.

What do you do with men who were captured on the battlefield who have vowed to return — to kill Americans — the moment they’re released? And then what do you do if “Plan A” was to just hand them over to their country of origin, but nobody will take them? For the time being, the U.S. stuck with the world’s most hard-core jihadis as they “fling styrofoam cups filled with feces, semen, and urine” at the guards who bring them Shariah-compliant meals.

President Obama has found out that he can close Gitmo, but the function it performs (i.e., keeping incredibly evil men from terrorizing the civilized world) will remain. His solution up until now seems to be to just kill them with drone strikes. Apparently, it’s more humane to drop a bomb on a guy’s head (sorry if we killed your extended family) than to haul a guy off to a detention facility, glean intelligence from him and then try him before a military court. Got it.

For most of George W. Bush’s presidency the anti-war left came out in droves to protest Gitmo. Today, there are random groups of five or ten people who stand outside the White House. Should a Republican be elected in 2016 and the detention facility still be open for business, I have no doubt that it will once again capture the attention of people everywhere looking for a cause. By then the damage will have been done; selective outrage robs the people who practice it of credibility.

Here is me photo bombing a small protest outside the White House this weekend. My expression says: "Huh? What happened to all the people? When Bush was in office this group would have been 50, 60 or 70 people strong."
Here is me photo bombing a small protest outside the White House last Friday. My expression says: “Huh? What happened to all the people? When Bush was in office this group would have been 50, 60 or 70 people strong.” There may have been 10 people in jumpsuits and a guy with a microphone total for this demonstration.
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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

26 comments

  1. What was considered unacceptable under Bush is now considered acceptable under Obama. Take Benghazi for example. A liberal relative of mine actually channeled her inner Hillary Clinton and told me to “stop talking about Benghazi, it doesn’t matter” the other day. I know for a fact that she’d be saying the opposite if Benghazi had happened under Bush. She also told me to take off my supposed “tinfoil hat” because she doesn’t like to face reality and is the same one who suggested that there was a “connection” between the Boston bombers and McVeigh and Rudolph. So who’s wearing the tinfoil hat?

    1. Maybe you should ask your relative when the New Yorker became a right wing conspiracy publication…

      It’s a cliché, of course, but it really is true: in Washington, every scandal has a crime and a coverup. The ongoing debate about the attack on the United States facility in Benghazi where four Americans were killed, and the Obama Administration’s response to it, is no exception. For a long time, it seemed like the idea of a coverup was just a Republican obsession. But now there is something to it. …

      [T]he mere existence of the edits [to the CIA talking points]—whatever the motivation for them—seriously undermines the White House’s credibility on this issue. This past November (after Election Day), White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that “The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.”

      Remarkably, Carney is sticking with that line even now.

    2. Yeah, exactly! I told her that even liberal publications are criticizing Obama about Benghazi, but to she dismissed it and says, “those people were paid off by the GOP.” I kid you not. She also thinks that gay “marriage” is more important than balancing the budge and reducing the deficit and ribbed me for disagreeing with my generation on the issue, since I’m more of a traditionalist in that instance. Apparently me having my own individual beliefs instead of parroting others’ talking points is a bad thing in her view. LOL

      I chalk her idiocy up to being a total drunk (she’s 50, gets tanked regularly as though she’s some teenaged girl and posts about it) whose idea of a good time is getting tanked while sitting in the bathtub.

    3. It sounds like your your relative needs to spend less time on politics and more time getting her own affairs in order if she’s that old and bragging about getting hammered on Facebook on a regular basis.

      Keep doing your own thing, Carl. It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders.

    4. Thanks. A lot of people think tell me that. As I’ve told everyone who has whined about me expressing political views on FB and elsewhere, I’m not going to shut up simply because they don’t like what I’m saying. If they don’t like it, they have the option of ignoring me. Unfortunately my liberal relatives and even my sister (who has whined to my folks about me expressing political views on FB in the past, believe it or not; she’s an overgrown toddler who enjoys “tattling” on me and makes stuff up to try and get me in trouble) don’t get that, so they feel the need to act all morally superior and throw snarky comments at me.

    5. And I agree completely about my relative. She needs to grow up. She’s 50 (same age as my mom) for Christ’s sake and is bragging about getting hammered on Facebook. Call me old-fashioned, but I expect adults to act with a lot more maturity than that.

  2. Proof once again that liberalism is a mental disease. Make sure your tinfoil helmet has a suitable grounding connection whenever you’re around this relative Carl 🙂

    1. yeah, there were never any embassies or consulates attacked under Bush, right?

      Of course there were. Are you going to use that ridiculous stat John Stewart used last week to “justify” Obama’s actions/inactions? About the embassies/consulates attacked during a wartime situation? Even so, when did Bush concoct a faux story about a video being the culprit? And then imprison the guy who made the video? And then send his acolytes out there to disseminate the faux story at every turn?

      The funny thing is, Obama was so worried that the attack would affect his re-election chances. But in fact, had he reacted rightly — blaming who they should have and sent in assistance — he’d come off looking a lot better politically and he’d have had a lot of popular sympathy.

      (And Liz, see if you can refrain from the ‘ol “But Bush lied about WMDs!” schtick.)

    2. That’s the kicker: there’s a guy in prison right now over a “probation violation” involving the “Innocence of Muslims” YouTube video. He even got the whole perp walk routine when they brought him in for “questioning.”

  3. President Obama has found out that he can close Gitmo, but the function it performs (i.e., keeping incredibly evil men from terrorizing the civilized world) will remain.

    how many of these “incredibly evil men” were snagged for bounty money? how many have been cleared for release?

    are you clueless or simply the author of blatant propaganda?

    1. I am also not the author of blatant propaganda. I simply disagree with you. And I disagree for reasons I’m perfectly willing to discuss with people who don’t have so much inner rage that more often than not they can’t begin a conversation without doing something to poison the exchange.

  4. Hey Doug: Joe Curl at TWT says cia sources tell him another shoe is about to drop. Someone’s about to flip?

    You heard anything???

    1. I did hear that there is something more coming down the pike (not from Mr. Curl), but I haven’t had a chance to really look into it and see if it’s legit. We’ll see if it drops this week. 😉

    1. Aren’t you the guy who doesn’t believe in God? Or Source? Or Allah? Or Creator? (or whatever spiritual individuals would like to call Him.) Why would I have a conversation on good and evil with you? If you can’t see why Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the wannabes locked up with him are evil, then I can’t help you.

      You do realize that it’s not that easy to just wind up in Gitmo, right? I was briefed by the former deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs years ago, and while I can’t rattle off the whole process off the top of my head, you can’t just be some random dude who is pulled off the battlefield. Sorry. It doesn’t work that way.

      For the sake of argument, let’s say that 50% of the people there are just poor innocent goat farmers who were turned in by bounty hunters out of Lizard19’s wildest nightmares. What are we supposed to do with the other 50%, Lizard19? The guys who look to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and bottom-of-the-ocean Osama bin Laden for inspiration. The guys who would gladly go back to plotting and planning and carrying out terrorist attacks on American interests the moment they’re released. The guys who are unwanted by even their own nations of origin. What do you do with them?

      As usual, you seem to lament the fact that we don’t live in heaven (i.e., mistakes are to be expected in any man-made institution and perhaps a few guys who shouldn’t be in Gitmo are). So you yowl about that and you bash Bush and Obama and everyone else because they’re not perfect, when the truth is you don’t have any answers of your own. You’re a perpetual complainer whose knee-jerk reaction is to call anyone who doesn’t agree with you “clueless” or a propagandist or whatever other insult runs through your head the moment you begin typing.

    2. you really like to avoid answering direct questions don’t you. I don’t think I need to be a Christian to ask you what makes these men evil (I’m agnostic, by the way).

      torturing is evil, no matter who does it. targeting civilians is pretty evil, at least when terrorist are doing it. when Obama’s drone program targets first responders, I guess that’s just him being “not perfect”. starting a war based on lies is evil. you get the point.

    3. I don’t answer questions when I know the person is asking them not to have a dialogue, but as a springboard for saying whatever it is they wanted to say from the get go. No matter what I said, you would have responded with some variation of the “we’re arguably just as ‘evil’ as the terrorists,” bilge. I knew that. So instead, I chose to step back and allow you to say what you wanted to say all along.

      Now that you got that off your chest, feel free to answer my question:

      For the sake of argument, let’s say that 50% of the people there are just poor innocent goat farmers who were turned in by bounty hunters out of Lizard19′s wildest nightmares. What are we supposed to do with the other 50%, Lizard19? The guys who look to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and bottom-of-the-ocean Osama bin Laden for inspiration. The guys who would gladly go back to plotting and planning and carrying out terrorist attacks on American interests the moment they’re released. The guys who are unwanted by even their own nations of origin. What do you do with them?

    4. torturing is evil, no matter who does it.

      That’s a lie. If you believe that, then there’s absolutely difference between what the Nazis did to the Jews, and what the Allied air force did to Dresden. Or what the Japanese did to the Chinese and Filipinos, and what the US Air Force did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

      Not to mention, where is there evidence of torture in Gitmo?

  5. it’s clear what needs to be done. a reality show can be devised, like in the movie Running Man, where the “prisoners” have to go through a lethal obstacle course. those who survive are then given their freedom and a house in Detroit. but because most of them are such incredibly evil men, they will have to be monitored 24/7, and a device would have to be implanted so that a mortal shock could be administered remotely if they stepped out of line. the spinoff show would be watching them try to survive in Detroit.

    you’re welcome 🙂

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