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Brilliant: Pentagon considering allowing family visits at Gitmo

Brilliant: Pentagon considering allowing family visits at Gitmo

What could go wrong?

The Pentagon is considering allowing the families of detainees at Guantanamo Bay to visit them, an unprecedented step to ease the isolation of inmates who in some cases have been held at the U.S. facility for close to a decade, according to congressional aides.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which monitors conditions at the military prison in Cuba and facilitates videoconferences between detainees and their families, has been in serious discussions with the Pentagon about a visitation program, the aides said.

Some Republicans, after hearing about the talks, appeared to balk at such access to the Guantanamo Bay naval station. In an early version of the annual legislation to authorize the activities of the Defense Department, Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (Calif.), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, inserted language that would ban family visits, which have never occurred at the prison.

But the latest version of the bill states only that Defense Department funding appropriated for fiscal 2012 may not be used “to permit any person who is a family member of an individual detained at Guantanamo to visit the individual.”

That would not rule out a visitation program underwritten by the Red Cross.

“My efforts are aimed at protecting U.S. personnel at Guantanamo and sensitive national security information from being compromised,” McKeon said Wednesday. “Allowing family members to visit detainees at Guantanamo Bay would create major security concerns for our nation.”

Gee, you think?

Now, I’m not in the military, and I’m certainly no expert on military intelligence or national security. But I can’t see any reason whatsoever that we would need to listen to the Red Cross on matters of national security, which is exactly what any policies concerning Gitmo are. One of the major benefits of Gitmo is that it is an isolated location. The prisoners there are dangerous men, terrorists and enemies of the United States. Allowing family members to come visit would be a huge risk and would absolutely create national security concerns. I’m flabbergasted that the Pentagon is even considering this.

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1 Comment
  • AW1 Tim says:

    Not to mention what would happen when the first one of them sets foot on US Soil and demands asylum.

    Plus, who pays for that visit? Where do they stay and eat? What if a visitor gets sick? Who pays the transportation, etc?

    This is a REALLY boneheaded idea. Must have been thought up by Holder. It’s exactly the sort of idiotic stunt he’d come up with.

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