Gitmo is not a recruiting tool for terrorists

Perhaps while he is on his Hawaiian vacation, the president might consider spending a few hours with a slim volume entitled “Messages to the World,” a collection of the writings of Osama bin Laden. He would discover Guantanamo Bay has only a tactical utility, not a strategic importance, in al Qaeda’s ideology.

In addition, what would replace detention in a secure facility—criminal trials in civilian courtrooms—would provide al Qaeda with the biggest and most effective venue possible to inflame passions in the Islamic world.

Public trials for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, would turn him into a martyr, provide al Qaeda an international stage on which to condemn the West, and draw on the resentment and dissatisfaction in the Muslim world to motivate a new generation of terrorists.