At least, that’s what you’d have to believe if you read Monday’s New York Times editorial on the three suicides at the terrorist prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. OpinionJournal.com’s James Taranto takes a whack at a portion of the Times editorial.
The Times editorial page bemoans the plight of these poor innocent terrorists:
[Their suicides were] the inevitable result of creating a netherworld of despair beyond the laws of civilized nations, where men were to be held without any hope of decent treatment, impartial justice or, in so many cases, even eventual release.
It is a place where secret tribunals sat in judgment of men whose identities they barely knew and who were not permitted to see the evidence against them. Inmates were abused, humiliated, tormented and sometimes tortured.
The Times thinks “Guantanamo Bay should be closed”–which presumably means that any terrorist who can’t be convicted of a crime should be returned to the battlefield.
The Times’ news story reports that in response to the suicides, “Democrats in the United States said little, apparently concerned about appearing to be sympathizing with detainees who could turn out to have significant terrorist connections.”
Interesting that the Times reporters think they can read Democrats’ minds. But couldn’t it just be that even Democratic politicians retain some instinct for protecting their country, even if that instinct apparently eludes the editorialists at the Times?
What I want to take a whack at are the Times’ final two paragraphs.
Admiral Harris’s response was as appalling as the suicides. “I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us,” he said. The inmates, he said, “have no regard for life, neither ours nor their own.”
These comments reveal a profound disassociation from humanity. They say more about why Guantánamo Bay should be closed than any United Nations report ever could.
No, what Adm. Harris’s response indicates is an understanding of the enemy that the Times still can’t come to grasp. These three terrorists would’ve taken a million Americans with them to the grave if they could’ve. They didn’t take their own lives out of desperation. They took their own lives because they believed that in their deaths they could hurt the Great Satan. Just like the 19 terrorists did on Sept. 11, 2001. Just like suicide bombers do every day in Iraq and elsewhere.
The “profound disassociation from humanity” is the terrorists’. The Times falsely believes that these terrorists loved life — they didn’t. The Times editiorialists seem to believe that these men are just like them — they aren’t.
It’s a good thing that the American people know better than to count on anyone that the Times would endorse to protect their lives and their liberty.