Fox News Anchor Wonders Why We Don’t Just Kill Gitmo Prisoners Once They’re In Custody

Jenna Lee repeatedly asked guest Charles Stimson why the Obama Administration doesn't execute detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
jenna leeedited

Oh, Fox News. You glorious, glorious peddler of totalitarian authoritarianism, moral absolutism and just plain ol’ fear of brown people.

During the broadcast of Fox News’ Happening Now, anchor Jenna Lee hosted a segment on the continued transfer of detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay. In recent weeks, the Obama Administration has been looking to release or move all of the prisoners in the detention center in an effort to finally close down Gitmo once and for all, upholding a promise the President made prior to being elected.

Well, in true Fox form, Lee brought on a former Pentagon staffer Charles Stimson to discuss Obama’s policy of trying to shutter Gitmo. Stimson, who worked for the W. Bush Administration in the Department of Defense before resigning over threats he made to attorneys looking to represent detainees, of course took the position that anyone held at Gitmo should be there indefinitely because we are at war. (A war, in his mind, that will never end.)

After a little friendly back and forth, Lee decided to conflate the President’s (morally ambiguous) policy of issuing drone strikes on terrorist targets with the detention of possible enemy combatants. At this point, Lee wanted to know why the United States didn’t just summarily execute detainees since it seems we would be in the right due to the drone strikes.

“The president’s — one of his policies has been to take out high-target terrorists through drone strikes, and you have to go through a certain procedure to do that and to get permission and the go ahead from the president to take out a terrorist. Well, as we’re learning more, Catherine Herridge, for example, is just learning that one detainee was judged high-risk for returning to terrorism, a supporter of Bin Laden, and threats to America. So somebody like that, for example, could be taken out by a drone strike, arguably. So what kept us from executing this person who was within our custody?”

OK then. Anyway, Stimson tried to explain to her that once you capture someone, by international law, you cannot just kill them. Also, since criminal law isn’t being applied to those being detained, the United States cannot just arbitrarily decide to execute some random detainee.

Obviously, since this is Fox News, Lee continued to press with her line of thinking.

“I’m not asking to arbitrarily execute people, but I’m saying if we’re using a certain standard to execute them amongst innocent people overseas, then why wasn’t that applied here? Because then we wouldn’t have this problem. If they were deemed such a risk to America at one time, then we wouldn’t even be worried about where we’re releasing them, because they wouldn’t be around anymore.”

I absolutely love the “because we wouldn’t have this problem” line. It is pure gold. Also, it is really just perfect how she places this all in the black and white worldview of ‘all detainees have to be killed or else they will kill us with THE TERRORISMS.’ Scaremongering at its best.

The segment ended with Stimson saying he could see what Lee was getting at, and essentially, that we need to just release detainees in places where we know we can just send a cruise missile up their asses.

Below is video of the segment, courtesy of Media Matters:


Justin Baragona is the editor and publisher of Contemptor. Prior to starting the site, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He currently resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.
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