Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Many people have been calling for the closing of the prison at Guantanamo. Let’s not. Gitmo must not be shut down until all the other prisons in the great American gulag are opened, and their inmates released. Gitmo is the only visible part of the gulag. What happens to all the innocents locked away in secret prisons in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the countries known only to themselves and the CIA? There are maybe 16,000 prisoners in these secret jails. Maybe more. No one knows because it's all secret. Families of prisoners don't know where they are. They don’t even know for sure they are in U.S. custody because no one tells them. If Gitmo closes the last window on the gulag will be slammed shut. The people who are there now will be sent to the secret jails and forgotten. There will be no more stories of defense attorneys’ visits with their clients. There will be no more attorneys, just as there are no defense attorneys anywhere else in the gulag. We need to keep before us the images of those steel cages so we won't forget all the others.