May 6th, 2009
11:52 AM ET

How to handle the Guantanamo detainees

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/05/04/guantanamo.closure/art.gitmo.bay.afp.gi.jpg caption="A guard talks to a detainee at Guantanamo earlier this year."]

Lindsey Graham and John McCain
For The Wall Street Journal

When President Barack Obama declassified and released legal memoranda from the Department of Justice, he opened the door to a drawn-out battle over the Bush administration's use of coercive interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists. We believe that any subsequent attempts to subject those who provided such legal advice to prosecutions are a mistake. They will have a chilling effect on the candor with which future government officials provide their best counsel.

The country must move on from debates about the past, because pressing questions about U.S. detention policy in the war on terror requires us to make difficult choices - and to make them soon.

In January, the president announced via executive order that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay will close within a year. The announcement was easy - but it left unanswered the hardest questions about detainee policy for the future.


Filed under: Guantanomo Bay • John McCain
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. ben

    I do not agree with torture. but our enemies do and they do not abideby the rules we normally do. i do not know if the president authorised the torture but it is doubtful. that sort of thing is usually done by someone lower down the chain. the president askes for information. and some general says get the information no matter what it takes. then since it is an order during a time of war the guys lower down have to obey or else face a firing squad or prison themselves.
    i do not think there shold be any more debates and inqueries about the people that did the torture or authorized it. the fact remains that the prisoners are still prisoners. I do not see a reason they can not go home if they are inocent. if not then leave them in prison. Don't waste tax payer money by building a new prison either that is wasteful when the one they are in will work just fine. Just change the management of the prison. change the guards. problem solved.
    As for the war... humanity needs to grow up. stop fighting about childish things like race, religion, nationality, and such. it has more pressing maters to worry about. like the environment. no one wins if it goes in the crapper. the governments of the world need to realize that we can go extinct just as the dinosaurs did.

    May 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  2. Larry

    Why didn't we hang Nixon and his cronies?

    Did JFK know about the Mafia connections to his election, or was he too naive to figure it out?

    May 6, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  3. Melissa

    Of course. Because Bush and his buddies are part of the Repbulican party McCain adores, they'd rather see them get away with their illegal activities because it sets a precedent that gvt can do whatever it wants. Sorry, not buying.

    May 6, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  4. Sandra

    Promises made can be promises hard to keep. Guess Obama didn't quite work out the details when he made his promise to close Gitmo. Hopefully he is learning from his on the job training.

    May 6, 2009 at 12:16 pm |