One way of understanding to the debate over Guantanamo prisoners in the U.S. is to consider the possibility that terrorists have heat-vision, supersonic speed, and the ability to absorb your life essence with a kiss. I guess reading the Koran will do that to you. Maybe I should convert.
Part of it is just an effort to dehumanize your enemy--the idea being that those held at Guantanamo constitute a particular sort of evil, the likes of which Charles Manson could never approach. But the larger part is just typical Republican scare tactics. And then, as Greenwald demonstrates, there's history:
Until recently, I thought the single most embarrassingly stupid event of the last decade's national security debates -- the kind that will make historians look back with slack-jawed amazement -- was the joint dissemination in the run-up to the war by the Bush administration and the American media of playing cards that featured all of the "Most Wanted" Iraqi Villains and their cartoon villain nicknames. Saddam Hussein was the Ace of Spades; Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash -- Mrs. Anthrax -- was the Five of Hearts; Ali Hassan al-Majid -- Chemical Ali -- was the King of Spades; sadly, Dr. Rihab Rashid Taha -- the dreaded "Dr. Germ" -- didn't make it to the deck, but she certainly had her day in the American media sun (AP: "Iraq's 'Dr. Germ' Surrenders to Coalition" -- CNN: "U.S. military holding 'Dr. Germ,' 'Mrs. Anthrax'")...
Despite all that, we never tire of the specter of the Big, Bad, Villainous, Omnipotent Muslim Terrorist. They're back, and now they're going to wreak havoc on the Homeland -- devastate our communities -- even as they're imprisoned in super-max prison facilities. How utterly irrational is that fear?
Not very irrational at all...if you're at war with a dude who shoots yellow rays from his ring finger, and a redhead who can grow to 20 stories. Inyuk-Chuk!