I knew when I saw the headlines that the wingers would swarm on this story about the 30 former Gitmo inmates who have "returned to the battlefield." I didn't even have to read their posts to know they would be busy blaming the Democrats and the dirty hippies. So I'm not going to read them. It will just irritate me.
Instead, I'd like to pick up on Cernig's post and follow up with this food for thought. Let's review this quote for a moment.
Commander Jeffrey Gordon said the detainees had, while in custody, falsely claimed to be farmers, truck drivers, cooks, small-arms merchants, low-level combatants or had offered other false explanations for being in Afghanistan.
"We are aware of dozens of cases where they have returned to militant activities, participated in anti-US propaganda or engaged in other activities," said Commander Gordon.
I'm not sure what those last two are supposed to mean. Are they saying they hate America at the local cafe, or making dart boards with Bush's picture as the bullseye? In any event, it suggests to me that all the releasees are under surveillance, but only the 30 have commited any crimes. Personally, I think it's phenonmenal that only 30 have joined the resistance.
Commander Gordon says the prisoners were lying when they said they were innocent bakers and taxi drivers. That's rich coming from an administration that's lied about everything from Abu Ghraib, to Jessica Lynch, to Pat Tillman and secret rendition. Especially since they were actively paying good sums of money for tips at the time they rounded up the Gitmo "terrorists" and there were widespread reports of innocent people being rounded up on the word of a paid informant with a grudge.
So just as a thought exercise, let's pretend for a moment that these guys were telling the truth. Or better yet, pretend it was you. That guy at work, who hates you and is always whining about something, convinces a foreign invading force that you're one of the guys who is trying to blow up their country.
You're held incommincado for five years. You're probably tortured for information you don't have. You're not allowed to contest the charges. You don't get a trial much less an arraignment hearing. After five years they know they can't convict you of anything but being in the wrong place at the wrong time and they let you go. No apologies. No reparations. Just kick you back out on the streets. What would you do? Send the government that wrongfully imprisoned you a thank you card?
You lost your home. You have no job. People are afraid of you. Maybe your own family is afraid to be seen with you for fear of association with the occupiers that took you. Who would gladly accept you into their fold under such circumstances and provide a living except the insurgents? Would you turn them down if the choice was that or living in exile among your own people?
If there's blame to be borne, it rests on the White House's shoulders. Number one, if the prisoners were truly dangerous, they shouldn't have released them. They should have compiled the evidence to convict them. Number two, if they hadn't been wrongfully imprisoned innocent men in the first place, they may not have commited acts against our country when they were released.
No one should be surprised that some who weren't terrorists when they went in, came out of Gitmo with bad intentions when they were finally let go. The surprise is that not more of the releasees succumbed to the tempation for revenge.
Update: Jules Crittenden doesn't get it.
Newsswine: Chimpy McHitlerBurton lied, people died and his hated Crusader gulag, blight upon free Cuba, made these noble savages what they are. Also, bluecoats speak with forked tongue, U.S. out of North America … at least that’s what I got from it.
Perhaps we could all chip in and enroll him in a reading comprehension class?