You know what I've noticed about Katherine Kersten's articles? She rarely actually makes an argument. Instead, she relies on the words of a particular person to make a case for her, but never proceeds to look at the big picture. In this instance, she appeals to a Minnesota National Guardsman who served at Gitmo, but never witnessed nor took part in interrogations.
Kersten uses this Guardsman to make generalizations about the prisoners' quality of life at what is essentially an illegal - internationally and nationally - facility. Because the food is good, because they are allowed to exercise, because they are given copies of the Koran and arrows pointed toward Mecca, it must follow that these prisoners are treated fairly and justly, Kersten surmises. They are treated better, she continues, than they would be in their home countries.
All of that is fine and dandy, but Kersten never takes it a step farther. She ignores the legal limbo these individuals are being held in, she claims they are being held for their value to national intelligence yet most have been detained and isolated now for almost four years, and then makes the most unbelievable assertion that some detainees don't want to leave the base.
The problem with Gitmo is not the food or respect for religion or any of these on-the-surface, easy-to-explain-away conservative concoctions. (What does it say that Gitmo detainees are treated better than they would be in their home countries...that the facility is better than those in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Hardly something to brag about.) Rather, it is the prison itself and where it exists. These prisoners stand outside the criminal-justice system of the United States as well as outside the criminal-justice system of the international community. They are stuck with no advocates, no opportunity to defend themselves, and no ability to legitimately proclaim innocence. Are these detainees guilty of crimes against the U.S.? I don't doubt that the majority are. Is it right for the U.S. to hold them outside the rules that guard other international citizens accused of crimes against the U.S. as well as prisoners of war? No. It's not right, plain and simple.
That's why Katherine Kersten can't write an argument in favor of Gitmo that stands on its own merit. Because if she were to actually scratch the surface of the debate rather than attempting to use rhetorical tricks and logical fallacies she would have to admit the problems with it.