My friends and I have been vehemently discussing the whole imbroglio over Amnesty International's dubbing Guantanamo "the gulag of our time," and, whether you're with the right and you find the analogy ludicrously overblown and downright insulting to the 3-6 million dead Soviets or with the left and consider the metaphor perhaps a bit exaggerated but useful for its purposes, either way, we all agree, at least in my small coterie, that something should be done about the damned place. Charge the last 5oo-odd detainees. Free them. Kill them even. OK, not that, but something. For Christ's sake, we sighed, do something Rumsfeld.
And so finally Donald trudged up to a microphone in front of a gaggle of media hounds on Tuesday with what one hoped might be some insightful, efficient, and meaningful plan for the place and its infamous inhabitants. But no, our Secretary of Defense sidestepped any legitimate and pressing concerns, saying simply, "I don't know any place where we have infrastructure that's appropriate for that sizable group of people."
Umm, that's nice, Don. But that doesn't answer the question. What about the detainees? What have they done, exactly? Have they been charged? Will they be tried? Is their treatment being better monitored? Secretary Rumsfeld held his tongue.
At least Republican Senate Chairman Arlen Specter pushed more important issues to the fore during the press conference, citing the "crazy quilt" of the detainee legal code that was confusing the processes.
But Rumsfeld, the one ostensible in charge of the camp, essentially sits on his hands and stays mum on the fate of the prisoners. With bipartisan Washington politicians pushing him to take some action, Donnie lets the clock tick and our foreign image grow ever more questionable, even menacing. Why do we keep this man in office? What has he done for us, at all?