One of the reasons we’re supposed to move Guantanamo is because they say it’s a “recruitment tool” for terrorists.
No less an icon of truth than Politifact says that it’s not true. Yes, they do use it a bit, but it’s not a big sell. The jihadis’ victories are their real recruiting tool.
But you already knew that.
I’d really like to point to a festering boil of a wrong view, and now Eli Lake is repeating it. When brushing off the notion of Gitmo being a recruiting tool, he throws a small bone in that direction with this:
When James Foley was beheaded in 2014, he was wearing an orange jumpsuit, the same color as the jumpsuits worn by early Guantanamo detainees.
But I don’t see it that way at all. ISIS is not poking fun at how we supposedly treat prisoners.
When ISIS puts those jumpsuits on their prisoners, it’s more than a mockery of Guantanamo. They’re claiming to be a state. They want to appear equal to the United States. Those jumpsuits are a cheap and easy way to do that.
Had there had been no Guantanamo agit-prop, but simple news stories and pictures without the stories of scandal, ISIS would still be dressing up their prisoners the same way. It wouldn’t matter how many prisoners we took, and what conditions they were put in. What mattered is what it looked like.