On Friday, the Pentagon made a rather startling announcement related to the rollout of the COVID vaccines. They planned to start vaccinating all of the War on Terror prisoners at our facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. That’s right. The odds are that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would wind up getting vaccinated before most of you who are reading this. To say that the plan caused some “concerns” around the country would be a significant understatement indeed. Tom Von Essen, the New York City Fire Commissioner during 9/11, described the plan as “f***ing nuts” that the “lowlifes” in Gitmo would get the vaccine before everyone in New York did. Other comments along a similar line came in from far and wide.
Apparently, there are some things that are still a bridge too far, even now that the Democrats are in charge of both our military and intelligence agencies. Roughly 24 hours after the news first went public, the Pentagon appeared to have a change of heart. The plan to vaccinate KSM and his pals would be “put on hold” while they review their force protection protocols. Seems like a smart move, particularly given all of the trouble that so many American citizens are running into trying to just get an appointment for a vaccination. (NY Post)
The Pentagon officially hit pause on a plan to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to prisoners held at the US military facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“No Guantanamo detainees have been vaccinated. We’re pausing the plan to move forward, as we review force protection protocols. We remain committed to our obligations to keep our troops safe,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a tweet Saturday.
The issue came to wide public attention after The Post reported that some of the most infamous terrorists in the world incarcerated there would begin receiving the lifesaving injections. Those potentially on the list included 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
No Guantanamo detainees have been vaccinated. We’re pausing the plan to move forward, as we review force protection protocols. We remain committed to our obligations to keep our troops safe.
— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) January 30, 2021
Yes, perhaps that plan wasn’t fully thought out before it was announced. Somebody in the public relations department might want to give the revised schedule a look before the next one is announced.
Really, this should be a fairly easy call to make. Obviously, our troops at Gitmo who are guarding these monsters should be vaccinated. Their vaccine doses should already be on the way down there and if they’re not, that should happen immediately. They still go out when they are off duty and mingle with others and the virus has already broken out on the island.
But the terrorists? We haven’t added any new prisoners to Gitmo in ages so the ones who are there aren’t going to give it to each other or to the guards. The only way they’re going to have an outbreak in the cells is if they catch it from one of the guards. And while I’m sure that we would all be terribly upset and distraught if KSM suddenly came down with a dose of the plague, well… what can I say? Damn the bad luck. Fate is fickle at times.
All of this is yet another unpleasant reminder that we’ve never really come up with a good plan as to what to do with these terrorists. A lot of people have been calling for Gitmo to be closed for years now, but there really don’t seem to be any better options on the table. Bringing them to the United States and putting them on trial carries some risks that we really don’t want to take. Summarily executing them doesn’t seem to be a legal option either. Releasing them is out of the question. There’s really not much left on our list of choices except leaving them there until they expire on their own.
Huh. When you think about it that way, giving them vaccines is an even worse idea than it already was if you can imagine such a thing.