Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was interviewed on Meet The Press recently. During the course of the interview he was asked his views about Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility (known as "GTMO" - pronounced Gitmo - because that's the military designation for it.) He said that he would not close it down tomorrow, he would close it down "this afternoon."
While he did say that everyone detained at GTMO should have access to the courts, he also stressed that they should not just be set free. But, of course, as soon as any of them start getting access to the courts they will start getting freed by the judicial system because of several factors, including that their rights to speedy trials were denied, their rights to the evidence against them was denied and even, for some of them, there just isn't any solid case against these guys that would stand up in a court of law. Most of them will be set free by a judge just as soon as their processing in the normal court system begins. And the world knows the true reasons we kleep people there. So far they have managed to keep all but a handful from ever seeing the inside of a courtroom. And if Bush has his way, they never will. GTMO is an affront to human rights and it needs to be closed immediately. It's too dangerous to have a facility where people go to be never heard from again. What would we say if that started happening to Americans?
It's because of the mentality of the Bush adminstration. They don't operate in the "fact-based world", they operate purely out of ideology, and they see nothing wrong with doing that. They feel it is perfectly legitimate to adhere to the principles of a belief system even when the facts contradict the tenets of the belief system. (And since this is true of most conservative-leaning people, it is a good argument for why they can't govern and shouldn't be allowed to.)
These people (Bush admin-types) all believe in the KJV interpretation of a Jesus quote in which he supposedly said, "Those who are not with me are against me." It's my understanding that other bibles have translated what Jesus said to read, "Those who are not my enemy are my friend." It's an important distinction in order to understand the mind set. In the former, if you are not an open, avowed friend of the administration, then you are, by default, an enemy. The latter interpretation says that you don't have to go so far as to consider yourself their friend, just as long as you don't consider yourself their enemy, they'll consider you a friend. This is clearly not how the Bush administration has acted, and it is one of the main reasons why they are so hated and despised around the world. If you don't agree with every single thing they want to do, then you're no friend of theirs. How stupid is that?
And because of this childish, selfish, me-first attitude, they have absolutely no interest in trying to make friends with other countries around the world. You're with us or you're against us, and if you're against us, go screw yourself. No intention at all of going up to our enemies and asking, "Dude, why all the hostility, man?" (Okay, diplomats don't normally talk that way unless they've been hanging out with the Jamaican ambassador.)
And this is why they're dangerous. They are convinced based on nothing more than a mythical "can do" attitude that if anyone wanted to attack us, we could kick all of their asses with one battalion tied behind our backs. Of course, they're wrong. If two other countries tried to gang up on us, they could probably cause some real damage. But then, if that ever happened, the American people would recognize the actual threat and join up to fight them. We will all stand behind retaliating against any country that attacked us. Since the "War on Terror" is just a slogan and an excuse to abuse power, the American people are not buying it.
My concern is that the next president, no matter which party, is going to need two terms to accomplish any agenda because he or she will be spending the better part of the first term flying around the globe aplogizing for everything Bush did. If Bush wasn't hell-bent on pleasing Corporate America instead of the people, we wouldn't be in the messes we're in right now. He is a very dangerous man because he has no respect for the rule of law and no respect for our constitution. He also has no respect for people who aren't rich, either. He is entirely ill-suited to lead a country founded on the principles we claim to hold dear.
Dangerous men should not be allowed to remain President of the United States. It's not just in our best interests. It's in the entire world's best interest.