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Opinion

Readers React: Gitmo is the graveyard of American values. It must be closed

This Wednesday, June 6, 2018 photo, reviewed by US military officials, a detainee, name and facial i
Detainees inside the Camp VI detention facility at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba on June 6.
(Ramon Espinosa / AP)

To the editor: I was not aware that the United States had completely abandoned all humanity, not to mention the Geneva Conventions.

It is possible that Ahmed Rabbani — a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay whose op-ed article lays out the grim details of his 14-year detention by the U.S. — is not telling the truth. But if he is, what a travesty he has suffered. Imagine for a moment that your (corrupt) government — in Rabbani’s case, Pakistan — captures you, portrays you as a radical, sells you to the CIA for money, and then abandons you. Imagine further that you have no recourse.

Gitmo should be closed, the remaining prisoners there relocated, and hearings held to determine, if possible, whether or not the detainees are a continuing threat. Those who pose no threat — my guess is many do not — ought to be released.

I am aware of the horrors of Sept. 11, 2001. My daughter saw the twin towers at New York’s World Trade Center fall, and we were worried about her safety until we heard from her. Many people had their lives destroyed. None of that excuses our continuing inhumanity at Gitmo.

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Paul Cooley, Culver City

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To the editor: I was appalled and horrified reading Rabbani’s letter regarding his imprisonment for 14 years without trial at Gitmo.

What have we become as a nation? How can we say to the rest of the world that we are a nation of laws when our government and military are still allowing this to happen?

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This place should be shut down immediately and anyone still being held there should either receive a fair trial or be released and sent home.

Audrey Michaels, Mission Viejo

Gitmo is the graveyard of the Geneva Conventions and the world’s good opinion of what our country stands for.
Kennedy Gammage, San Diego

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To the editor: Rabbani’s piece is painfully reminiscent of Franz Kafka’s “The Trial.”

The absurdity of Rabbani’s 14-year imprisonment resembles the situation of Joseph K. in Kafka’s novel, except that Joseph does have a kind of trial on unknown charges, whereas Rabbani cannot get a trial. He is simply rotting slowly to death somewhat, whereas Joseph let himself be executed a year after his trial.

Gitmo and its treatment of prisoners such as Rabbani are a moral outrage and a profound stain on America’s character. How long will we let this disgraceful injustice continue?

Benjamin J. Hubbard, Costa Mesa

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To the editor: Gitmo is the graveyard of the Geneva Conventions and the world’s good opinion of what our country stands for.

President Obama said he was going to shutter it, but he was unable to do so. Vote in November, and maybe the new Congress will finally act to end this tragedy.

Kennedy Gammage, San Diego

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