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A Militant Fiscal Case for Closing Guantanamo Bay

Written By Jeff Edwards

Posted December 13, 2015

There have been few issues more divisive regarding our post-9/11 actions than the creation of a prison at Guantanamo Bay to house terrorist and enemy combatants.

I’m a United States Marine Veteran of Iraq, and I can remember being a young 20-something Marine when the attacks occurred.

Knowing war was in my future, I was excited to get a little retribution for the dastardly attacks of that early September day, and when I was told that a prison was being created at Guantanamo to support the cause, I thought to myself, screw the men that would be housed there.

But I didn’t really think that out another 15 years, when I would be a slightly pudgier Veteran of Iraq asking myself why we are still paying for this monstrosity…

I’m Not Trying to be Nice

Over 700 men have made their way through the gates of Guantanamo, but only about a hundred remain.

Meanwhile, a report came out a couple of years ago that indicated America spends approximately $2.7 million per prisoner for a year of hospitality in the Caribbean.

I’m thinking: I’d keep one of those guys locked up my backyard shed for half the price.

Sure, it won’t be as secure, but you chain a man to enough pipes, and he has a tendency to stay put.

But I think you can see I am not asking for Guantanamo to be closed out of any warm feelings for those locked up.

I just think it is a waste of money given the risk.

Yes, it was reported this week that former Guantanamo detainee Ibrahim Qosi, who was released in 2012, is now back in the fight as the Al-Qaeda leader in Yemen.

That is bad, I get it.

But I don’t know whether it is $2.7 million-per-prisoner bad.

I mean, a lot of these guys still there have been locked up since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2002.

Which means if they do return to the battlefield upon release, the first thing they will do is start recruiting on their Facebook pages.

If We Are Going to Fight, Then Let Us Fight

I’m not afraid of the tens of thousands of ISIS fighters, and I see little problem with gifting them another 100 to save us a few bucks.

If the men who spent the past 13 years at Guantanamo Bay want to jump into the fight, then let them.

We got something for that.

Yes, I understand that I am a making it a little simple, but I have 2.7 million reasons to do so.

My platoon commander in Iraq had me read a book prior to Iraq about German Colonel Hans Von Luck.

And while the Germans hardly warranted any compassion in the aftermath of WWII, I was always struck by how Von Luck had the misfortune of being captured by the Soviets after WWII and spent years in captivity while worse men captured by the West were allowed go free.

That never really sat well with me, and while I have very little compassion for terrorists, I love the idea that is America.

At some point, we must decide — for fiscal reasons or others — to set these men loose.

If they should pick up a weapon and fight, then so be it, and I hope the last sound they hear is the brrrrrt of an A-10 Warthog.

But if they should retreat to the mountains of Afghanistan and die as horrible humans later in life, at least that will be cheaper.