A leading senator, Joseph Biden of Delaware, suggested the time has come to consider a gradual closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. “This has become the greatest propaganda tool that exists for recruiting of terrorists around the world. And it is unnecessary to be in that position.” The senator argued there should at least be an independent commission established to address the value of keeping Guantanamo. “The end result is, I think we should end up shutting it down, moving those prisoners. Those that we have reason to keep, keep. And those we don’t, let go.”
The White House spent the weekend trying to play down a Pentagon report confirming instances of abuse of the Koran at Guantanamo. “It is unfortunate some have chosen to take out of context a few isolated incidents by a few individuals,” presidential spokesman Scott McClellan said in a statement from George Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. He noted that the report said there were in fact more cases of the book being desecrated by inmates than by guards. (Although why that should be is not explained.) (UK Independent, June 6)
As we have pointed out, accounts of intentional Koran desecration by the prisoners themselves are particularly troubling, perhaps pointing to psychological warfare operations at Gauntanamo Bay. See our last post on the ongoing torture scandal.