Guantanamo By Any Other Name

Maybe it’s because I grew up down the road from the Riverdale synagogues that were targeted in the just-thwarted terrorist plot. Maybe it’s because I now live down the road from Newburgh, where the terrorist thugs live and where they also intended to take out Air Force aircraft. Or maybe it’s because my friend Richie and I commanded the 40th Street Pier, which was used as a temporary supply depot during the Sept. 11 rescue operation.

Maybe it’s because my city — where I played hardball, drove taxis, wrote news stories — was once again the target of jihadists.

Maybe that’s why I don’t want to see the inhabitants of Guantanamo dispersed in prison yards across the county. The Newburgh knuckleheads — the gang that couldn’t bomb straight — formed in state prison yards, homegrown thugs with a freedom-chip on their shoulders.

Honestly, I don’t think Congress, overall, will let it happen. I think my countrymen simply feel too uncomfortable with the dispersion plan. I respect President Obama for trying to “mop up” behind the Guantanamo mess. But his terming opposition to prisoner dispersion fear-mongering is unfair. Shouldn’t we fear the enemy within. Shouldn’t we be vigilant.

Richie and I stood deep in the days old debris of The World Trade Center, twisted girders, dust of sheetrock and bone, tower-sheathing reaching like a macabre-cathedral into the dark sky. You don’t forget. You never forget. This enemy doesn’t. This enemy won’t. Remember, they hit the towers seven years early, only to return, after we all went to sleep. There’s no sleeping anymore. Not eight years after Sept. 11. Not twenty-eight.

But I have a plan for Guantanamo. It’s simple. Change the name as we change the plan and the strategy, as we remain vigilant on our shores.
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