Broward News

Allen West: Holiday at Guantanamo Bay

Today, The Sun Sentinel reported that Allen West intends to tour Guantanamo Bay. West said: "Guantanamo Bay serves a crucial role in our national security, and I am confident that my visit will reaffirm my belief in its importance." Truly, words to inspire belief in the congressman's impartiality.

Before West traipses off to do his reaffirming, I'd like to lob a request in the general direction of Guantanamo's minders: For the love of God, don't let him near your prisoners.

It's gonna be hard enough figuring out what to do with these people. Whether they're guilty, innocent, or anything in between, it's arguable whether any of them will ever see a proper trial after we've stomped so severely on international law and the dicta of our own judicial system by holding onto them so long. The last thing we need is for Col. West to get nostalgic and start unloading his pistol near the prisoners' heads. Then we'll never get to try them.

About that. Yes, the Colonel was probably just doing what he thought was necessary when he illegally tortured and mock-executed Yahya Jhodri Hamoodi in 2003. But why are his fans still spinning the event to make it look like some decisive blow against a terrorist plot? West's Wikipedia page still suggests that the interrogation foiled a planned ambush, and Ann Coulter says West's interrogation of Hamoodi saved lives. According to whom? Not according to West, who's admitted he might have made a mistake in singling out Hamoodi as a collaborator. And not the military, which released Hamoodi without charging him with any crime after 45 days of incarceration. Why the unnecessary whitewash? And if there's gonna be a whitewash, it is really appropriate for Col. West to make proclamations about Guantanamo's efficacy and importance? At its worst, Guantanamo's not guilty of doing anything West hasn't already admitted to doing himself.

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Brandon K. Thorp