Sunday, June 18, 2006

Leaving Guantanamo

What is it like for reporters trying to get information about what is happening in Guantanamo? Carol J. Williams of the Los Angeles Times writes,

In the best of times, covering Guantanamo means wrangling with a Kafkaesque
bureaucracy, with logistics so nonsensical that they turn two hours of reporting into an 18-hour day, with hostile escorts who seem to think you're in league with Al Qaeda, and with the dispiriting reality that you're sure to encounter more iguanas than war-on-terror suspects.

In the worst of times--this past week, for example--those quotidian discomforts can be compounded by an invasion of mating crabs skittering into your dormitory, a Pentagon power play that muzzles already reluctant sources and an unceremonious expulsion to Miami on a military plane, safety-belted onto whatever seat is available. In this case, that seat was the toilet.

Democracies are not supposed to treat reporters like adversaries. Doing so when the subject of their reporting is Guantanamo is guaranteed to raise even more suspicions about U.S. policies in the so-called "War on Terror." Again, it is time to close Guantanamo.