Detention & Guantanamo

And Yet I Remain Unashamed

By Benjamin Wittes
Monday, January 4, 2016, 11:07 AM

Rolling Stone has a very long and very uninteresting article about Guantanamo. Don't bother to read it.

In case you have any doubt what the message is, the piece is usefully entitled, "Inside Gitmo: America's Shame." The subtitle? "Fifteen years of pain and suffering outside the rule of law—why can't we close the prison at Guantanamo Bay?"

I read every one of the more than 8,500 words of this very bad piece, and I was surprised to find that it actually manages not to make any kind of case that Guantanamo operates "outside the rule of law." Indeed, it barely mentions the extensive litigation over countless aspects of life at the facility, including the supposed "innocence" of so many of its denizens. I was also surprised that it manages not to shed any new light on why we can't close Guantanamo.

Written by a woman named Janet Reitman, the article is, instead, a veritable compendium of defense lawyer talking points, unexamined assumptions about law of war detention and military commissions, ill-concealed hostility to the men and women of the guard force at Guantanamo, and seemingly endless whining about the inconvenience of doing journalism there. 

I learned literally nothing from this tome. What's more, I emerged—much as I went into the project of reading it—strangely unashamed by Guantanamo.