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Argument: Guantanamo should not be closed to placate international opinion

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  • "No Good Reason To Close Gitmo". Heritage Foundation. June 14, 2005 - "2. Closing Guantanamo Bay to placate critics is unjustified. It would be naive for the United States to assume that the same unsubstantiated criticisms that now surround the Guantanamo Bay facility would not be transported to the next one. The facility itself and what happens at it do not drive its critics, exactly; rather, their activism is motivated by how the United States and its allies are conducting the war on terrorism in general. Critics of the war do not distinguish between the two. To appease the critics would require changing how the United States fights the war on terrorism, which is unacceptable. American policymakers should be aware that conceding on Guantanamo, given the broad context of critics’ complaints, would be tantamount to conceding the war on terrorism itself.
For instance, on a recent television interview a representative of a “human rights” organization manipulated statistics and rhetoric taken from the broader campaign against terrorism to describe the actions and facility at Guantanamo Bay.[1] At one point in the interview, he argued that at least 28 individuals have died in U.S. custody as a result of criminal homicide. None of these deaths, however, occurred at Guantanamo. The implication was that whether these actions took place at Guantanamo was irrelevant and that actions and events occurring at any point or place in the war on terrorism may be generalized to any specific place or event.
But the details do matter. According to the Department of Defense, “The department works closely with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and representatives visit detainees in our charge at their discretion. There have been 187 members of Congress and congressional staff who have visited Guantanamo to include (sic) 11 Senators, 77 Representatives and 99 Congressional staff members. There have also been some 400 media visits consisting of more than 1,000 national and international journalists.”[2] Even skeptics must admit that it would be hard to carry out any systematic abuse of detainees under such intense and constant scrutiny."

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