Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Cartoon #190: Gitmo
Amnesty International called the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the gulag of our time. The U.S. military's official abreviation for Guantanamo is GTMO, pronounced gitmo. The Bush Administration called the comparison ridiculous. Vice President Dick Cheney said the prisoners there are treated with respect, despite their designation as noncombatants. If Cheney is wrong, he and Bush could justifiably find the mistreatment of prisoners included in charges of high crimes against them.
Prior to the Amnesty International accusation, Newsweek was coerced by the Whitehouse and the right-wing media into retracting a report that prison guards desecrated the Quran by flushing a copy in a toilet. Following the retraction, the Pentagon released a report citing several instances of desecration of the Quran to psychologically break the spirit of Muslim prisoners.
Pundits who tried to come off somewhat less reactionary, snubbed their noses at the gulag comparison, while stating that Gitmo has become synonymous with mistreatment. Nice try. Amnesty International qualified its use of the word with ...of our time. While Gitmo may pale in comparison to the Soviet gulags, it is the closest thing we have to them today. That is why prominent voices are increasingly calling for the prison to be closed, including those of former President Jimmy Carter, and current members of Congress.
Closing the prison would be celebrated worldwide. But that single justice would pale in comparison to the ongoing crimes of the Bush Administration.