Saturday, May 9, 2009

Wisdom from the Woods VIII

Wisdom from the Woods is an occasional column that outlines complex issues.

Today's image is a picture of a vapor trail streaking across the sky, dissecting the White Pine canopy. The picture offers two separate realities, yet they are both connected.

Today I want to say a few words about the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo). While the Obama administration struggles with finding a solution to closing the notorious prison, our enemies are concluding that Obama is no better than his predecessor. From our enemies point of view, I guess I would expect that in any case.

Gitmo at one point housed almost 500 prisoners while today the population stands at approximately 245. Many politicians have expressed concern about housing these prisoners in the United States; Why? These prisoners are ultimately our responsibility. Are they dangerous? Yes; but no more dangerous than many murderers in the prison population today.

Why not get the trials over, sentence every prisoner and ship them off to prisons throughout the United States. The only limitation should be that no prison should have to house more than one of these terrorists. Split these criminals up so that they have no kindred spirits close by. There are currently 1,200 state run prisons in the United States and there are 98 Federal prisons available. After these criminals serve their 30 year sentence, deport them.

After all, the United States is famous for it's Gulags. There is no country on earth that has a higher prison population. We like to lock people up for just about anything. Heck, our prison industries have to survive too. The vast majority of our prisons are filled with drug related cases that the rest of the world handles quite differently.

In the United States, the sad story is that 1 in 140 citizens are currently behind bars. It is also estimated that 1 in 31 citizens are currently involved with the legal system in some way. We've never hesitated to lock people up for minor offenses such as pot smoking. Why all the concern about locking up our true enemies in U. S. prisons?

I think it's time to get on with the military tribunals, pronounce sentence and split these 245 prisoners between 245 prisons right here in the United States. It is our responsibility to close this chapter of the Bush administration; now.

By isolating each terrorist, they will be effectively cut off from each other and will be far less likely to plot into the future. Prison space; we have!!


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