When Did Rehabilitation Become Manditory Recitivism?

I’m just getting serious here for a second. About Guantanamo.

No, I’m not going to echo the left’s civil-libertarian outrage at the President’s seeming bait-and-switch on it. I may be naive, but I still think it’s going to get closed. Once Congress is brought in on the decision making, they say they’ll stop holding their breath too and vote for it. So I’m still just waiting to be outraged about that.

Here’s the thing, though: the arguments against transferring the detainees to U.S. prisons are getting to me.

Not the BUT THERE WILL BE TERRORISTS ROASTING LAMB ON OUR LAWNS!!! argument, which is so patently ridiculous as to not warrant retort. What I’m talking about is the more “reasonable” of the scare tactics being used by the right (and, let’s face it, Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein): If we let the detainees mingle with our current prisoners, they will become terrorists all.


Don’t get me wrong: I think neither that our current prison population is composed of happy workers paying their due, nor that there probably isn’t sympathy for sociopathy within the walls of your average SuperMax. What I am wondering, though, is what ever happened to our original penal system?

Let me explain…

The Quakers began this whole ball rolling, from what I remember from my days passing out in whiskey comas with the History Channel playing in the background. The point was that, if someone in society makes a mistake, you send them to prison to teach them how and why they shouldn’t make it again. They originally proposed the SuperMax idea (solitary confinement), for the purpose of religious reflection, believing that the criminal would one day Satori himself right back onto the straight and narrow. Given current SuperMax footage, it seems like said Satoris look more like skizophrenias, but the point is this: Prison, in this country, was meant to be for rehabilitation, not punishment.

When did our penal system devolve into such a state where we believe that–if confronted with the people who (allegedly) are the cruelest, most sociopathic of the Arab lot (as claim the Cheneys of the world reside in Gitmo)–our prisoners will side with them?? Is our current state of prisoner rehabilitation so tenuous (or, I fear, nonexistent) that we think that, if given the choice between going home to their families and helping out their community, or siding with the people who (again, allegedly) sympathize with perpetrators of the worst, cruelest, most hateful (and still recent) act ever to take place on American soil?

And, if the prison population is deemed so sociopathic already as to already have terrorist leanings, how long before they are also deemed too dangerous to even release?

Part of me (the Bay-Area-native part who mistrusts all things double-speak) is thinking that these fearmongers hyping Gitmo’s detainees as potential fomenters of a million societal rebellions are maybe right, and maybe know exactly of which they speak. They may know that mixing together people who have all been collectively locked away and forgotten about for little or no reason by the same society may find some common ground and rebel. Maybe they would. How best to show their rage?

Torch the banks and the credit card companies?
Torch Wall Street?
Publicly embarrass the U.S. around the world?
Elect a NEGRO to the White House?
Elect a SOCIALIST SECRET MUSLIM to the White House?



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