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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 7, 2013/ 27 Iyar, 5773

Close down Gitmo? Why, sure

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Again with Guantanamo.

Whenever this president can't answer a direct question about some failure of American security, or at least can't answer it satisfactorily, he goes into his riff about the need to ... close the brig at Guantanamo.

This shtick always works. It gets his true believers applauding and his habitual critics stirred up. Ah, the best of both possible political worlds! Best of all, he never has to get back to that embarrassing question, having changed the subject.

There's a reason that an offshore military prison was set up where it was: to confine terrorists and those suspected of being such someplace where they could be safely questioned at length under military law. Rather than transfer them to the mainland and treat them as ordinary criminal suspects with all the rights and privileges appertaining thereto. And take all the risks such a move would involve. Including the possibility, indeed probability, that, once read his rights à la Miranda, the prisoner will clam up and American intelligence will be denied valuable information. The kind of information that might prevent the next terrorist attack.

Our president, now confronted by tough questions about terrorist attacks from Benghazi to Boston and why they weren't foiled, would rather talk about the need to ... close the brig at Guantanamo.

Its existence offends him. As it has for years. Maybe because American military law in general does; he doesn't seem to recognize it as law at all but some kind of inferior substitute to be evaded whenever possible. Even if the U.S. code of military justice predates the U.S. Constitution, has a rich history of its own, and, when a new kind of barbaric war is unleashed, has its indispensable uses. Uses that civil law may not, especially in these times and these circumstances.

The first military tribunals in this country were set up by George Washington, who was commander of the continental army even before there was a republic called the United States of America. As a charming British gentleman, major and, alas, spymaster named John André discovered when he was caught out of uniform -- with an American passport, false identity and detailed plans of West Point, all supplied courtesy of the ever obliging Benedict Arnold. The traitor got away, but his handler didn't.

The major was tried and sentenced to death by a high-ranking board of senior American officers, a courtesy the British hadn't bothered to extend to a young patriot named Nathan Hale. Major André was promptly hanged -- duly, legally and justifiably. We were after all at war. And, perhaps more relevant to these current times and this current war, we realized it. And acted on that realization. To quote Alexander Hamilton: "Never perhaps did any man suffer death with more justice, or deserve it less."

None of this law or history, or just prudence and experience, is evident whenever our current chief executive and commander-in-chief of the armed forces lectures the rest of us about the need to close down a military prison now holding scores of dangers to the United States and to civilization itself.

At those moments, the Hon. Barack Obama brings to mind any glib young professor lecturing a class of first-year law students so smoothly and earnestly he seems unaware that he's complicating his case more than explaining it.

Close Gitmo? Fine. Nobody ever argued that it was the ideal solution to the tricky problem of how to handle combatants, legal or illegal, in this war on terror, only the best available now. And maybe indefinitely. Our president doesn't seem to like that phrase, either -- war on terror. It comes too close to calling something by its right name instead of Overseas Contingency Operations, whatever that means, if anything.

Everybody regrets Gitmo's existence, or at least the necessity for it. Yes, the law of war holds that combatants legal and illegal may be held till hostilities are concluded. But, our president complains, our we don't know when that could be. It could be forever!

Right, sir. And we didn't know when we could safely release all those German and Italian prisoners once held in places like Arkansas either, but we knew enough to try a bunch of German saboteurs caught on American soil before a military court and execute just about every last one of them. With dispatch. And justice. Now we seem to have a president whose jurisprudence is full of juris but absent prudence. Close Gitmo? Sure thing, Mr. President. And then do what, if anything?

Transfer all these military trials to lower Manhattan, turn it into an armed fortress, and try all these nice people now at that Cuban resort as though they were just pickpockets or purse-snatchers? Just ask Mayor Bloomberg how that bright idea turned out, or rather didn't turn out, after New Yorkers and the rest of the country got wind of it.

Close Gitmo and just duplicate it somewhere else, maybe in the upper Midwest à la Fargo? Just Not In My Back Yard? But it's holding these prisoners that's the essence of this debate, not where they're held. They object to being imprisoned, not to the Cuban climate.

Close Gitmo and then what? Take the prisoners we want to squeeze for information and hold them aboard a U.S. Navy ship for a couple of months while they're grilled? This president has tried that, too. And he didn't seem to like it. Understandably.

What about just sending the recalcitrant types back home and letting their countries of origin figure out how to deal with them? But be sure to call it repatriation because we've already called it rendition, and that euphemism didn't fool anybody for long -- because no one could deny that it made the United States of America a silent partner in their torture abroad. So the president withdrew his support for it. (Good for him.)

Is there any clear alternative to Gitmo that this president does recommend? He says he'll tell us later. No rush. He's had only four years or so to find one. With any luck, he'll be talking about closing it down it for another four years -- but only talking about it.

Take a look at this president's rambling remarks at his press conference last week and see if you can figure out what he was recommending as an alternative to the prison at Guantanamo. Because it beats me.

To quote a tactful summation offered by one of the wire services: "He was ambiguous, however, about the most difficult issue raised by the prospect of closing the prison: What to do with detainees who are deemed dangerous but could not be feasibly prosecuted?" Despite the president's wordy dissertation on that subject, he doesn't seem to have the faintest idea.

The first requirement of justice, as it is the last, whether civil or military justice, is moral clarity. For all his verbal meandering at that presidential press conference, he steered clear of it. Moral clarity is hard work. Delivering a moralistic lecture is a lot easier; there's no heavy intellectual lifting involved.

Here was a chance for our president to ride one of his favorite hobbyhorses without actually saying anything, and even please some of his more fervid supporters on the left, who know they want Gitmo shut down but, after that, draw a blank. Much as this president does. But that never keeps him from running on about the subject, which is a lot easier than talking about the latest misadventures -- and worse -- of the vast national-security apparatus he is nominally in charge of.

Many of us look forward to hearing more from our president on the subject of Guantanamo -- so long as the cell doors there remain safely locked, bolted and barred while he prates on.

Paul Greenberg Archives

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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