… the Pentagon is quietly planning for permanency at the U.S. detention center at Guantánamo Bay, The Herald has learned.
Pentagon planners are now seeking $25 million to build a state-of-the-art 200-cell concrete building meant to eventually replace the rows of rugged cells fashioned from shipping containers at Camp Delta.
At the same time, the Army is creating a full-time, professional guard force — a 324-member Military Police Internment and Resettlement Battalion that will replace a temporary, mostly reserve force at Guantánamo.
A Department of Army memorandum to Congress obtained by The Herald envisions the new military police force being included in the 2005 and 2006 budgets. ''This action is part of a systematic process to enhance Army's capabilities required to defend the Nation's interests at home and abroad,'' says the undated memo from the Army's legislative liaison office.
This is serious. Not only is the temporary Guantánamo facility an embarrassment that should be razed to the ground rather than upgraded, but a permanent facility is an actively dangerous temptation for rogue policy makers. A permanent facility can have any of three purposes and they are all bad:
- Hold some of the current prisoners in durance vile forever.
- Establish a permanent rotating population of unpersons to be radicalized and sent home to hate us.
- Ship US suspects out instead of giving them due process at home — like the next Padilla.
Be worried, be afraid, be angry, be active.