After blathering on for weeks about the supposed gulag-like conditions at Guantanamo Bay, members of Congress finally visited the facility for themselves this week. To no one’s great surprise, they left with a considerably change in their attitude after having done some actual research:
During a tour of the U.S. prison for suspected terrorists on Saturday, House Republicans and Democrats, including one who has advocated closing the facility, said the United States has made progress in improving conditions and protecting detainees’ rights. …
“The Guantanamo we saw today is not the Guantanamo we heard about a few years ago,” said Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif.
Still, lawmakers from both parties agree more still must be done to ensure an adequate legal process is in place to handle detainee cases. In the meantime, said Rep. Joe Schwarz, R-Mich., “I think they’re doing the best they can to define due process here.” …
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (news, bio, voting record), D-Texas, is one of many Democrats who have called for an independent commission to investigate abuse allegations and have said the facility should close. She said she stood by that position, but acknowledged, “What we’ve seen here is evidence that we’ve made progress.”
No, Congresswoman Lee and Congresswoman Tauscher, what we see is that the two of you and most of your colleagues shrilly slander the US military without doing anything to check your facts beforehand. Prior to this delegation, only eleven Senators and a handful of Representatives had visited Camp X-Ray at Gitmo, despite having access to the facility since the war started. Instead of taking advantage of their opportunity to travel on official business to investigate this “hellhole”, as one Democrat called it during open debate, the Leftists like Tauscher and Lee simply regurgitated slanders and accusations from hysterics like William Schulz at Amnesty International, who later admitted that he didn’t have any idea whether what he said was accurate or not.
No one wants to muzzle dissent, especially not in Congress. But before our elected representatives at any level start making accusations of systemic abuse at places like Gitmo, where they have access to review the facilities for themselves, then we expect them to have made that trip and gathered the facts before launching broadsides at the armed services and our intelligence community. Shame on them for jumping to conclusions and publicly condemning them without making that effort — and for playing into the propaganda of our enemies during a time of war just to play partisan games on Capitol Hill.