It's Not Complicated

January 13, 2009

Again and again we’re told that closing Guantanamo is “complicated.” I don’t see what’s complicated about it. Flying a chunk of metal with people in it to the moon? That’s complicated. Following U.S. and international law? Not so much. Try the detainees in federal courts or release them. If they are tried and found guilty, then incarcerate them in the US. I’ll help build a special prison in my neighborhood. If they are found not guilty, then release them. I have a room for rent. The “complicated” rhetoric serves as a stalling tactic and a justification for the whole mess. I don’t buy it. As always, I’m open to being convinced by a logical argument, but the burden of proof is on those who claim it’s hard to follow the law.

Which brings me to Obama’s comments on investigating and prosecuting crimes committed by members of the Bush administration. Since when isĀ  moving “forward” in tension with investigating and prosecuting people who broke the law? If we are going to move forward, then investigating and prosecuting crimes is exactly what we have to do. If we are going to move forward, Obama and Congress must commit this country to the rule of law.

As a New Yorker who saw the Towers fall, as an American who is ashamed that his tax dollars have gone towards murder and torture, and as a citizen of the world who wants his family and friends to be safe, happy and free, I am so, so very ready for those responsible for 9/11 to be held accountable, for those responsible for torture to be held accountable, and for a U.S. President to follow the law and uphold human rights. Is it really so hard to do the right thing?