“Leave no soldier behind” is the mantra of all United States military units, but the latest firestorm coming from the conservative right regarding the release of five Guantanamo Bay prisoners for one American soldier, held five years by the Taliban, has many people calling for the impeachment of President Barack Obama for disregarding the law.
Perhaps we need a reminder that it was the Bush administration that flagrantly violated constitutional law by rounding up hundreds of men from all over the globe and shipping them off to Guantanamo Bay as prisoners of war. The five men released in order to free one American soldier, spent 12 years in this American “prison beyond the law” without charge or counsel. If these five men are so dangerous why have they not been charged?
We are not reaping the whirlwind of a detention policy that mocks the constitutional law we claim to live under. As long as we uphold the present policy of keeping prisoners on an island in Cuba in order not to try them under our American court system, we will kindle far more terror than we can prevent.
It was President Ronald Reagan that made the American pledge not to negotiate with terrorists. But like it or not “terrorists” already play a major role in Afghan politics and we will have to deal with them in the foreseeable future.
— Carl D. Liechty, Lima