By Spc. Justin Helphenstine: guest columnist
Is it possible for morality to be the means to an immoral end? A common phrase concerning the paving stones of the road to hell leads us to believe so. I think there is one such road being built today, and it’s paved by a desire to close the Guantanamo detention facility.
Guantanamo, for those who may not know, houses individuals detained for terrorist links. These individuals represent the worst of the worst.
They despise Western civilization and above all else vilify Americans as the source of every woe that has ever stricken their lands. They know nothing but a mantra best defined in the al-Qaida training manual, known as the “Manchester Document:”
“The confrontation that we are calling for with the apostate regimes does not know Socratic debates …, Platonic ideals …, nor Aristotelian diplomacy. But it knows the dialogue of bullets, the ideals of assassination, bombing, and destruction, and the diplomacy of the cannon and machine-gun.”
Individuals with these beliefs are the type who fortunately many an American will never be forced to know, will never be forced to confront.
These individuals comprise a genuine threat to society, and if released are likely to continue on in their chosen pursuit of bringing about the downfall of The Great Satan, as America is known to them.
There are Americans who would disagree with me. They instead agree with the European Union, and the United Nations, in calling for the end to Camp Delta, for the repatriation of the detainees kept at the facility.
They argue that America is committing a human rights violation, that we are denying them their right to due process of law, etc.
I implore anyone who would seek the closing of GITMO to stop and realize that the benefits of American citizenship — these rights which supposedly we owe to the detainees — do not apply to unlawful combatants. As they refuse to fight under a banner, in uniform, representing an established state, terrorists are not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions. These individuals mean you and I both deadly harm, and are locked away for the safety of the many.
Before America does the “moral” thing of closing Guantanamo — of releasing truly dangerous individuals to continue plotting harm against us — let’s take a moment of clarity to look at where this road will lead us, rather than simply laying down more tiles of good intentions in a blind, shortsighted desire to do the “right thing.”
Spc. Justin Helphenstine is a 2001 Clovis High graduate. He is stationed in Iraq.