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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 26, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Closing Guantánamo

Congressional support falls victim to fear

During the presidential campaign, John McCain and Barack Obama both vowed they would close Guantánamo. Now, McCain is leading the opposition to closure [“Guantánamo consensus dissolves,” News, May 24].

McCain, all the Republicans and most Democrats are now complaining that the prisoners would be a threat if brought into the U.S. They are all falling in line with the macho/fear gospel (a true oxymoron if ever there was one) of former Vice President Dick Cheney and radio loudmouth Rush Limbaugh. With Cheney’s towering unpopularity, you’d expect most members of Congress — certainly the Democrats — to call it what it is: a totally inane opposition move.

But Democrats — even with a filibuster-proof majority — are as clueless as Republicans are destructive. If Democrats had all 100 seats in the Senate, they still couldn’t muster a majority for their president.

I truly feel sorry for President Obama. He has to deal with Congress on a daily basis. It’s like trying to control the inmates in an asylum.

If Congress reflects the will of the people, the only conclusion is that the entire U.S. population is below average. The average congressman is surely below average.

— Bruce Barnbaum, Granite Falls

An ideal place for detainees

There is some concern about President Obama’s decree closing Gitmo by the end of the year. Where are the prisoners to go if no other country will accept them and are they to be released in this country?

Fortunately, there is a large building that is exclusively under federal control, surrounded by a fence and large gardens with complete security and open to constant vigilance. It has all the modern conveniences, such as exercise rooms and libraries. It is fully staffed and under control of a sympathetic owner who lives on premises. I’m sure it would be the ideal location.

The address is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C.

— James Keefer, San Francisco

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