In today’s “Best of the Web” column, the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto seizes on a recent report from CNN. The key excerpt from CNN:
Prisoners from Uzbekistan, Yemen, Algeria, and other nations told tribunals that they or their families could be tortured or killed if they are sent home.
Some detainees worry about reprisals from militants who will suspect them of cooperating with U.S. authorities in its war on terror…A man from Syria who was detained along with his father pleaded with the tribunal for help getting them political asylum–in any country that will take them.
“You’ve been saying ‘terrorists, terrorists.’ If we return, whether we did something or not, there’s no such things as human rights. We will be killed immediately,” he said. “You know this very well.”
Here’s Taranto’s take:
It may be that many of the Gitmo detainees are lucky to be there–and the self-styled do-gooders who are trying to get them out would condemn them to a much worse fate.
Taranto skips over the fact that they didn’t need to be in this situation. The Bush administration’s description of all Gitmo detainees as “the worst of the worst” — combined with its use of extreme interrogation techniques — has created serious problems, even for detainees the military determines are completely innocent.
A reasonable response might be to assist such individuals in finding political asylum elsewhere. For Taranto, apparently, there isn’t any information that can’t be twisted to justify the administration’s flawed approach to the war on terrorism.