On June 29, 2007, Congressman Norm Dicks sent George Bush an eloquent letter urging him to close Gitmo. It said, among other things,

Since the time that captured “enemy combatants” were first brought to Guantanamo Bay in 2002, the detainment facility has undermined America’s image as the model of justice and protector of human rights around the world. Holding prisoners for an indefinite period of time, without charging them with a crime goes against our values, ideals and principles as a nation governed by the rule of law. Further, Guantanamo Bay has become a liability in the broader global war on terror, as allegations of torture, the indefinite detention of innocent men, and international objections to the treatment of enemy combatants has hurt our credibility as the beacon for freedom and justice. Its continued operation also threatens the safety of U.S. citizens and military personnel detained abroad.

[snip]

The closure of the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay would represent a positive first step toward restoring our international reputation as the leader of democracy and individual rights. [my emphasis]

Guess whose signature appears right at the top of the long list of those who signed this letter?

Then-Congressman Rahm Emanuel.

I wonder what changed between the time when Rahm recognized how unacceptable indefinite detention is and his willingness now, in cahoots with Lindsey Graham, to set up a system of indefinite detention? Heck, this Rahm has even called closing Gitmo a distraction.

Would I be foolish to ask for that other Rahm back?

emptywheel

emptywheel

Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.

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