Monday, February 22, 2010

C-J Truth-Checks Rand

Courier-Journal coverage of the Jefferson County Lincoln Day dinner corrected Dr. Rand Paul's attempt to sound less eccentric on the issue of Gitmo detainees.

Joe Gerth writes that the Grayson campaign called Paul to account for a quote he made last summer, when Paul said that the administration should take the Gitmo detainees and "drop them back off in Afghanistan, it'll take them awhile to get back over here."

Paul, according to Gerth, called Trey Grayson "intellectually dishonest"for taking the quote out of context. Paul maintains that he only wants to send those Gitmo detainees back from whence they came if they cannot be convicted.

Gerth's analysis: "Paul's summary of the question was correct, but then he got into a bit of trouble when he claimed that the question was limited to Chinese Muslims, called Uighurs. . . . A video of the interview doesn't back that up. Paul went from talking about border policy to Guantanamo Bay and Uighurs were never mentioned."

Even with Paul's "context," it's still a bizarre remark.

Paul never explains why he assumes that the detainees cannot be convicted. Does he really believe that these thugs in Gitmo are innocent?

Probably not, because he tries to reassure us that it will "take them awhile to get back over here." In essence, Paul's plan for keeping us safe merely buys us time -- postpones the inevitable attack from terrorists with a very high recidivism rate. Case in point: the Christmas Day Bomber was trained by a Gitmo graduate. Paul fails to grasp the danger of his own proposal. The issue is not how long it will take these terrorists to "get back over here." We don't want them free to attack us, not tomorrow, not next year, not ever.

Paul's Gitmo deportation idea hearkens back to the American Colonization Society's plans to send slaves to Liberia before the Civil War -- solve the political problem of slavery by just getting the slaves out of America. If they are Over There, we don't have to think about them any more. That is not to analogize innocent slaves to terrorists but rather to point out that as with slavery, the issue is too complex for a pat answer; too much has happened with the enemy combatants to simply give them a boat ride back. The American Colonization Society, like Paul, was well-intentioned, but naive.

Here's Paul's now-famous YouTube video on sending back the boys from Gitmo.

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