Shut down Guantánamo – New York Times backs Amnesty

Guantanamo“What makes Amnesty’s gulag metaphor apt is that Guantánamo is merely one of a chain of shadowy detention camps that also includes Abu Ghraib in Iraq, the military prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and other, secret locations run by the intelligence agencies. Each has produced its own stories of abuse, torture and criminal homicide. These are not isolated incidents, but part of a tightly linked global detention system with no accountability in law. Prisoners have been transferred from camp to camp. So have commanding officers. And perhaps not coincidentally, so have specific methods of mistreatment.”

Editorial in the New York Times, 5 June 2005

Little Green Footballs is not impressed: “The New York Times defends Amnesty International’s comparison of Guantanamo Bay (where 600 unlawful combatants are held) with the Soviet Gulag (where more than 20 million innocent Russian citizens were imprisoned, and millions killed). As a solution to this towering injustice, the editors of the Times call for Gitmo to be shut down. Immediately. Turn them all loose. And make sure the evil Bushco doesn’t send those poor oppressed killers without consciences to places where they might be imprisoned again – like their home countries.”

LGF, 5 June 2005

See also “Senator urges Guantánamo closure after Pentagon admits Qur’an abuse”, Guardian, 6 June 2005

And “Quran splashed with urine at Guantanamo”, Informed Comment, 6 June 2005