After President Barack Obama’s recent executive order to close Guantanamo Bay within the year, a GOP senator suggested that our esteemed erstwhile prison should serve as the new detention facility for Guantanamo’s current inmate populace. Because if San Francisco-type liberals want to free the terrorists, they might as well house them too, right? The bone-headed, reactionary suggestion was first made by Christopher Bond, Republican of Missouri and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who was kind enough to illustrate just how much of a misnomer that committee name is. Clearly, the best use of our taxes is to retrofit a crumbling prison in a national park to become the most secure detention facility in the country. 

If we do, in fact, want to detail and perhaps even reform terrorists, maybe it’s not too late to revisit last year’s proposition C, which you may remember called for the transformation of Alcatraz into a Global Peace Center. The Global Peace Center will include such architectural gems as the six-floor Global Peace Teepee and the Harmonium, an “advanced Artainment Multimedia Facility of laser light, holographic sound, and fragrance” (we’ll spare you the explanation of the holovision project system, holodome, and um, starcouch), designed to counteract the negative history of Alcatraz. Maybe the New Age architecture and debatably hi-tech multimedia system will even counteract the negative history of the Gitmo inmates.

Once the terrorists are on their way to becoming functioning, albeit light-worshipping, reformed citizens of the Global Peace Center, what’s to be done with their previous home? Since people are so fond of Kennedy-Obama comparisons, let’s add another one to the mix – It was, after all, Attorney General Robert Kennedy who closed Alcatraz in 1963. Of course, the motivation behind the closing was ostensibly not as politically motivated as President Obama’s intended closure of Gitmo. Kennedy closed Alcatraz for various other reasons, including expense and the fact that the waste that was being dumped into the Bay on a daily basis. But to draw some more parallels between Camelots old and new, perhaps Guantanamo Bay should follow the precedent set by Alcatraz: let’s make it a national park or resort lodge -the first of many. With the potential closing of secret prisons around the world, this could become an entirely new industry: the tourism of terrorism. 

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  • twsf

    The audio tour will have to be revised.

  • Luisa

    Interesting, if frightening, prospect.

  • Barry Parr

    Great idea.

  • generic

    Why stop with Gitmo? Just off the top of my head:

    Japanese internment camp tea gardens
    Trail of Tears bike tours
    Antebellum plantation getaways