Powell Calls for Guantanamo to be Closed

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


powell_mtp.jpgAh, Meet the Press: What is it about little Timmy Russert that makes politicians drop their juiciest little morsels on his show? This Sunday it was former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s turn to make waves on the show. The big news is that Powell called for Guantanamo to be shut down. The continued detention—sans lawyers and, in most cases, charges—of 365 men, Powell said, has “shaken the belief that the world had in America’s justice system.” Powell expressed faith in that system, arguing that the country “has 2 million people in jail, all of whom had lawyers and access to writs of habeas corpus…. We can handle bad people in our system.”

Powell, who as chairman of the Joint Chiefs during the Clinton administration helped draft the disastrous “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, also titillated news whores and homosexuals everywhere when he implied that the policy may need to be revisited. It was “an appropriate response to the situation back in 1993. And the country certainly has changed,” he said. However, unlike his successor as chair of the Joint Chiefs, John Shalikashvili, Powell stopped short of denouncing “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” (More recently, chairman Peter Pace called homosexuality immoral. And, yes, it is hard to keep a chairman of the Joint Chiefs for long in these troubled times.)

Powell’s final move to separate himself from the Bush administration he once served came as he announced that he hasn’t decided whether to support a Republican or a Democrat in 2008. That’s great, but I can’t help but wonder why Powell, who’s evidently a competent and decent guy, didn’t know better than to serve under Bush and Cheney in the first place.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate