This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The prison at Guantanamo Bay poses major problems for the United States:
• It is used as a recruiting tool for Muslim extremists.
• The United States is holding prisoners who can never be released and cannot be tried because they were subjected to illegal interrogation techniques, as defined by the Geneva Convention.
• Congress has blocked attempts to transfer the Guantanamo prisoners to the U.S. mainland, which means Guantanamo must remain open.
• The prisoners would rather die than live the rest of their lives in cages. Many are being force-fed to prevent them from killing themselves in a hunger strike.
To resolve this conundrum, the United States should execute all Guantanamo prisoners as quickly and humanely as possible. Hundreds of civilians have died in drone strikes ordered by President Barack Obama. Tens of thousands of civilians died during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts under President George W. Bush. A few more unjustified deaths will make little difference.
The way will then be cleared to close the prison and end the nightmare that has besmirched this nation. Hopefully, we will learn from our mistakes and vow never to repeat such unconstitutional deeds in the name of national security.
Carl Benton Clark