“Our government’s current executive order to halt the military commissions makes us foolish and weak, and invites more attacks,” said Melissa Long, whose boyfriend was a first responder killed in New York. “What is fair and just is to continue the military commissions and punish those who have committed acts of terrorism against Americans, period.” Long later married a man who lost his parents when their plane slammed into the Pentagon on that fateful day. Brian Long acknowledged that some of the detainees may have gone through some inhumane treatment through the years, but he thinks they are being well taken care of now. “The only injustice is being orchestrated by our leader by making decisions about something he knew nothing about,” Long said.
The family members, brought to the U.S. military base in Cuba by the Pentagon, saw three of the five men accused of plotting the 2001 hijacked airliner attacks face the court set up by former President George W. Bush to try suspects in his war on terrorism. But they did not see the alleged mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who boycotted the session. The relatives toured the U.S. Navy base but were not allowed into the detention camps. They met with guards and praised their work, as well as the operation of the first U.S. war crimes tribunals since World War II. Critics call the Guantanamo detention camps a stain on America’s human rights reputation and the tribunals a miscarriage of justice.
“I have nothing to gain other than to tell you people, we need this camp. We absolutely need this camp,” said Gary Reiss of Yardley, Pennsylvania, whose son Joshua, a 23-year-old bond trader for Cantor Fitzgerald, died in the World Trade Center.
The Washington Times reports:
Judith Reiss, who lost her son, Joshua, in the World Trade Center collapse, said that she was a “Mama for Obama” during the campaign last year. “I have the right to say, ‘Mr. President, you’re making a mistake. You’re wrong,’ ” she said as her husband, Gary, stood at her side, wiping away tears.
The AP reports:
Diane Fairben of Floral Park, New York, whose paramedic son, Keith, died at the World Trade Center, noted the presence of more than a dozen lawyers, a mix of active duty military and civilians, to assist the five defendants even though three are serving as their own attorneys and the other two have asked the court for clearance to do the same. “These people are being afforded the best legal representation and they are getting a fair shake,” Fairben told reporters. “I ask the president to give us a fair shake. We’ve been shunted to the side for too long and it’s getting to be a bit much.”
Update, 1:00 PM EDT: Michelle Malkin reports Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has a petition opposing Guantanamo detainees being moved to the United States and is sponsoring an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2010 which would prohibit their transfer to the U.S.