Thomas Friedman Urges a Reading of Foreign Press, Then ‘Shut Down’ Guantanamo

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By: E&P Staff

Hurling a kind of challenge at the U.S. press, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman today urged Americans who support the ongoing operations at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to read what the foreign press has to say about it. Then Amnesty International?s depiction of Guantanamo this week as America?s ?gulag? doesn?t seem farfetched at all.

Noting that 100 prisoners have died there, not likely from heart attacks, Friedman–a strong supporter of the war on terror and the Iraq invasion–concluded with this advice about Guantanamo: ?Shut it down. Just shut it down… I am convinced that more Americans are dying and will die if we keep the Gitmo prison open than if we shut it down.?

How, writing from London, does he know this? ?If you want to appreciate how corrosive Guant?namo has become for America’s standing abroad, don’t read the Arab press,? he advises. ?Don’t read the Pakistani press. Don’t read the Afghan press. Hop over here to London or go online and just read the British press! See what our closest allies are saying about Gitmo. And when you get done with that, read the Australian press and the Canadian press and the German press.?

Gauntanamo is not depicted so harshly in the U.S., but Friedman notes that ?it is now obvious from reports in my own paper and others that the abuse at Guant?namo and within the whole U.S. military prison system dealing with terrorism is out of control?. This is not just deeply immoral, it is strategically dangerous?.Guant?namo Bay is becoming the anti-Statue of Liberty.?

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