Close Guantánamo Bay

The American Civil Liberties Union is floating around this new image for their close the Guantánamo Bay prison campaign:


They quote Vice President Dick Cheney as saying, "They’re living in the tropics… They’ve got everything they could possibly want."  It goes on to say that "Torture and indefinite detention are shamefully un-American."  Finally, they encourage people to wear orange on January 11th in protest of Guantánamo Bay remaining open.  The ad links to this site where you can also find a PDF "activist toolkit."

I went searching to see if the ACLU had cut out an important part of Cheney’s quote, but it appears they haven’t.  Here it is with the missing "…" filled in: "They’re living in the tropics. They’re well fed. [emphasis added] They’ve got everything they could possibly want."  It came from an interview on June 23, 2005, with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.  The historical timing of the quote is that period in which Cheney was defending his "last throes" comment.  You can read more about the interview and quote in this article.

It is obvious that Cheney was referring to the prisoners’ living in some sort of tropical paradise, which is a huge stretch of the word.  But what is stranger is that the ACLU chose this quote out of everything that Cheney has said over the years to draw our attention to their campaign.  Is there really that much power in paradise?  Well, yes and no.  You have to use it right.  At least there’s not a beach pictured.

One of the jarring parts of this image is the fake barbed wire that has been Photoshopped over the picture.  Combining the two is somewhat disingenuous, especially when dealing with an important cause.  I can see why they might fall into the paradise trap, but they probably could have been a lot more effective with other images and quotes.

Even more interesting is that they’re floating this "paradise" announcement on the same day that they’re announcing "not putting an end to warrantless NSA spying" as the worst government civil liberties offense of the year.  Here’s the full list of ten, entitled "The Year We Didn’t Get Our Freedoms Back."  The release also has ten reasons not to give up hope for civil liberties.

Going back to the ad, another Cheney quote that is missing from is this one: "There isn’t any other nation in the world that would treat people who were determined to kill Americans the way we’re treating these people."  Is that a good thing?

Maybe it’s time to close that place down.  The fact that there has been a debate in our country on whether or not torture would be warranted is proof enough to do so.  When did we lose our soul?

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Posted on January 4, 2008
Filed Under Government, Military, War | 1 Comment


One Response to “Close Guantánamo Bay”

  1. John McCain ~ Iraq ’some kind of day at the beach’ : Rapidsea on January 6th, 2008 9:49 pm

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