Letters to the Editor

Fear tactics

August 13, 2009


To the editor:

For the record, I must say that I could not disagree more with Sen. Brownback and the rest of our “just say no,” to everything, Kansas congressional delegation (minus one notable exception). Kansans should step up, show some courage, as we have often done in the past, reject the scare tactics being used by too many of our political “leaders,” and help the Obama administration take the necessary steps to close the shameful prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. If that means holding some of the suspected terrorists at Fort Leavenworth until they are finally given a fair hearing, trial, or etc., so be it.

Because I am a Kansas historian by profession, I was interviewed for and quoted in an Associated Press article by John Milburn published in the Aug. 6 Journal-World. In a feeble attempt to characterize my take on 1940s Kansas attitudes toward German POWs and the victims of our nation’s Japanese internment policy, I might have left the wrong impression. The times, issues, and attitudes were different, of course, but there are some important parallels.

Then, as now, unfounded fear and prejudice helped Americans justify the inhumane and unjust treatment of a “suspect” ethnic minority simply because they were perceived as being different and untrustworthy; but for whatever reasons, Kansans of the “greatest generation” did their duty when it came to captured German enemy combatants. Why not do so this time? We just might, if we don’t fall prey to fear tactics, again.


puddleglum 8 years, 4 months ago

Can we relocate them to the battlefield?

you know, maybe we can put some sort of gps-homing beacon inside their bodies and then send them back into the 'war zone'....maybe they would lead us to more bad guys. then: push button:boom boom!

BigPrune 8 years, 4 months ago

Please don't bring them Leavenworth, bring them to LAWRENCE! Build a detention facility on west campus then all the human rights activists in Lawrence can make sure these enemies of our country are being treated nice. Perhaps these folks can bring them meals and learn more about their beliefs and techniques in beheading innocents with a butter knife, suicide bomber warfare in public places, proper public hanging displays, recruiting the mentally handicapped for suicide missions, etc.

These people need to put their money where their mouth is.

urban16 8 years, 4 months ago

You people are shameful. Let me guess, you actually (and falsely) consider yourselves Christians also...

You do of course realize that we already have hundreds of terrorists in our prisons, many of them put there by Bush/Cheney? Why weren't you protesting then? Could it be that you are so devoid of ideas and rational thought that you have devolved into a semi-catatonic state that only allows you to oppose our President, even when his proposals would vastly improve our country?

Practicality 8 years, 4 months ago

Dr. Dean,

Although I am not against housing the terrorists here in Kansas, I do think there is a difference to the parrellel that you are trying to make.

"Kansans of the “greatest generation” did their duty when it came to captured German enemy combatants."

Correct me if I am wrong, but what was the Allied stance on captured German enemy combatants caught out of uniform? Wasn't it execution?

bornInABarn 8 years, 4 months ago

Wow. When I lived in Kansas people weren't afraid of the bad people that were locked away in Leavenworth. There wasn't widespread fear that they would break out and terrorize the locals.

What happened? Has the security gone to hell there? Is it easy to break out now? Or, do you think that these Gitmo detainees are some breed of super villains that's going to manage to escape and wreak havoc on the state? This isn't the movies. These are just people, and they have now superpowers that they can use to break out.

Lock 'em up. What are you scared of?

RogueThrill 8 years, 4 months ago

It's pretty awesome sitting in my arm chair talking about why and how we should kill a bunch of prisoners. I feel like a big man.

Of course, when someone mentions detaining them in a high security federal prison 100 miles down the road I turn into a gigantic, quivering wuss.

Maddy Griffin 8 years, 4 months ago

The prisoners at Gitmo have not had trials. They deserve that much. How can we hold up our democracy as the best in the world if we don't give them that. We should follow the same rules for them that we expect for ourselves.

bad_dog 8 years, 4 months ago

"God, I miss Cheney."- ardo cubed

Go hunting with him some time. Given his record, chances are pretty good he won't miss you...

puddleglum 8 years, 4 months ago

“God, I miss Cheney.”- ardo cubed

you are probably the only one left on the planet

Shelley Bock 8 years, 4 months ago

Bring them to Lawrence. Construction jobs building the facility; lots of jobs for security running the place. As someone pointed out, build it as secure as Leavenworth and no one will break out. Leavenworth seems to love their facility, why can't Lawrence have one too.

Besides, this would give all of you against the idea a good excuse to buy all the firearms you can get your hands on. Wife won't complain when she's got her own AK-47. Just don't be demanding on her.

Once again, the majority of the Kansas congressional delegation works against bringing jobs to Kansas. I do wonder "What's Wrong with Kansas"?

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