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Emptying Guantánamo
Closing the detention center doesn't solve the problem of how to treat terror suspects

"Nobody ever actually liked Guantánamo," said Bret Stephens in The Wall Street Journal. But the "recent career" of Said Ali al-Shahiri—who was released from the detention center only to become al Qaida's deputy chief in Yemen—proves how important it is to keep terrorists away from their would-be victims. So, if the holding pen won't be at Guantánamo, where will it be?

"The short answer to what to do with the Gitmo detainees," said Susan Estrich in the Los Angeles Times, "is simply this: Charge them. Try them. Publicly and fairly. If proved guilty, punish them."

That would be fine if the terrorists were merely criminals, said Eric Fehrnstrom in The Boston Globe. But they're not—they're enemy combatants in a very real war. The new military strategies George W. Bush implemented to confront radical jihad kept us safe, and rolling them back only risks emboldening the enemy.

The U.S. can treat jihadists like wartime enemies and still respect the rule of law, said Steve Chapman in the Chicago Tribune. "This war is different, but it's still a war, and the rules of war allow the confinement of enemy soldiers in this country for the duration of hostilities." But we should treat them like the POWs they are.

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