Do you know what the difference is between Barack Obama and Rodriguez Zapatero? Although both said on the campaign trail what their audiences wanted to hear, afterwards Zapatero made an effort to carry out what he said while Obama only tried to do what may be the best for his country, but not necessarily what was the most popular. The North American president has given us this week the full-proof test: he is going to reactivate the military tribunal model that dates back to the era of Lincoln and that Bush revived for detainees in Guantánamo. These are the same tribunals that were denounced universally because they violated the human rights of detainees.
This occurs after Obama committed to closing Guantánamo and dispersing the 241 “good men” detained there to their countries of origin. And those that were not admitted, they would be transferred to the ordinary jurisdiction and penitentiary system. This electoral promise – that was acclaimed by a good portion of his followers and by many Europeans – has been met with the fact that there is no place in Europe to deposit them, perhaps with the exception of Spain, of course, and that Democratic congressmen use convincing arguments to insist that prisons in their state have only one detainee come from Guantánamo. Could it be because they believe them to be innocent?
We were already warned to some of it on November 4th, Election Day. The New York Times on that day carried on its front page, for the first time, a report about the real dangers of the detained in Guantánamo, pointing out that things would not be as they were promised to us.
Here is the outcome. Obama is trembling. He does not know what he got himself into. On the other side of the Atlantic, Judge Garzón has taken note.