Letters to the Editor

Paradis letter: Obama and Guantanamo

Liz Pennington believes Obama is a weak-kneed appeaser by wanting to shut down Gitmo (letter March 20). I agree that the actions of terrorists are beyond the pale, and indeed, many bad actors are detained there. However, it is well documented that many innocent, noncombatants were swept up in the early days of Bush’s war on terror.

In the spring of 2010, Lawrence Wilkerson, retired Army colonel and former State Department official, gave a declaration to a federal court in D.C. regarding the detainees at Guantanamo. I urge you to read the entire document, but near the top of page 3 Wilkerson states, “it became apparent to me as early as August 2002, that many of the prisoners detained at Guantánamo had been taken into custody without regard to whether they were truly enemy combatants, or in fact whether many of them were enemies at all. I soon realized from my conversations with military colleagues as well as foreign service officers in the field that many of the detainees were, in fact, victims of incompetent battlefield vetting.”

For us to become the same animals we are fighting demeans us all, and yes, our credibility is up in smoke.

Pete Paradis, Meridian