Still Wetting Themselves

by Brien Jackson

I really don’t get the right’s approach to Guantanamo Bay. You’d think they’d take the opportunity of a popular President closing the place down to let that little nagging issue fade off into the background with little fanfare. Instead they seem bound and determined to remind everyone why they don’t like Republicans, and that for all their bluster about how terrorists can “bring it on,” they’re really nothing more than very scared, very irrational babies. Like monsters under the bed afraid. Take Jim Geraghty’s argument for keeping detainees in Guantanamo Bay:

The options discussed so far are right next to a nuclear power plant in Southern California, right next to the facility for educational and training programs for foreign military students at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas*, and right in the middle of northern Charleston, South Carolina, three miles or so from an airport.

If a detainee were to escape Guantanamo Bay, they would have the option of running to Cubans or sharks, and getting roughly the same warm welcome from both. A detainee who escapes from any of the U.S. sites is within quick reach of terror targets, potential hostages, means of escape, etc.

Can someone explain to me how, exactly, someone is going to bust out of a maximum security prison in, one assumes, a prison issued orange jumpsuit, without any money, unarmed, etc., and then proceed to blow up a nuclear power plant? It doesn’t make any sense. It’s like Geraghty’s been watching too much Burn Notice or something and he imagines that these detainees are some sort of amazingly sophisticated, highly trained, fighting machine. But let’s be honest, they’re not. They use IED’s and suicide attacks for crying out loud, not exactly the kind of thing you see former SEALS do on teevee.

Geraghty goes on:

It’s hard to picture militia members, the Crips, Bloods, or what have you doing something as extreme as, say, crashing a plane into the prison to faciliate an escape and/or provide martyrdom to their brethren.

The blind sheik has been in US prison for a decade without any attempt to spring him or “martyr” him. And again, the problem is that Geraghty just isn’t operating out of the real world. Ultimately al Qaeda is much like the mob, and there’s no honor among thieves. Bin Laden doesn’t give a damn about Khalid Muhammed or any other of his minions, they’re all expendable. But that doesn’t jive with Geraghty’s conception of these people as crazy radicals motivated by insane religion representing a highly sophisticated existential threat to the United States. And the problem isn’t that Geraghty and the rest of the right are stupid, per se, it’s simply that they’re not operating from reality. Instead, they’re working out of a right-wing cocoon where all of this nonsense is accepted as a given and never challenged.

After all, they think Jack Bauer is real.

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