Retired Brigadier General David Irvine came out strongly against the campaign rhetoric of two Senate candidates in Utah, in an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune today. He places this rhetoric within the broader Republican attack against President Obama’s pledge to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, which he says is dangerous and steers us away from the fact that this isn’t a partisan issue but a question of national security:
Guantanamo is a continuing threat to the nation’s security. Every day the
prison exists, it stands as a real threat to our troops in harm’s way. It’s not
just an Obama thing; George W. Bush and John McCain, two years ago, spoke out
for closing it. Keeping it open is killing Americans, every day.
Jihadists who kill innocents want to be portrayed as warriors. Military commissions or courts-martial elevate them to a status they do not deserve. The shoe and underwear bombers of the age are not warriors. They’re ordinary criminals, and they should be tried as the criminals they are.
David Irvine has been an active member of the group of retired military leaders Human Rights First has organized and worked with to end torture and close Guantanamo. He was in Philadelphia with us earlier this month to meet with candidates running in the Pennsylvania and Delaware midterm elections.