RANGER AGAINST WAR: A Pound of Flesh <

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Pound of Flesh

Recently, Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) reentered the world of the undead when President Bush transferred him to Gitmo. The reward for his capture was $25 million.

Usually rewards for captured suspects are disbursed upon successful prosecution in a court of law. Apprehension was merely the beginning of the process of determining guilt, and thereby, of granting the bounty reward.

We have supposedly superseded the days of the Old West bounty hunters where fugitives were wanted dead or alive, and awards were conferred accordingly. Today, a presumption of innocence should be carried by all who face arraignment; the fact that they are in the docket--or in Gitmo--is not an indication of guilt ipso facto.

At 200 lbs. and $25 million, the U.S. taxpayers forked out $125,000 per pound for this questionable example of humanity. Relative to this, consider that a U.S. Army infantry Private would have to serve 1,000 years in Iraqi combat to earn that gross (pre-tax)amount. (A not unimaginable scenario given the infinite extensions of tours expected of today's servicemen and women.) A soldier who lost a limb in combat could receive 40,000 months of disability payments. 100 years of U.S. Presidential salaries could be covered.

Looked at through another lens, single food stamp recipients receive about $25 per week to buy groceries. This means one million weeks of food stamps could be funded by this amount.
So, by government reckoning, over 19,380 U.S. residents could eat for a year.

Of course, when's the last time you covered your food allowance for the week for $25? And what do you guess the food allowance is per inmate per week at Guantanamo Bay? I'd bet it exceeds 25 bucks. It seems terrorism pays. The government nourishes terrorist's stomachs better than those of poor Americans. Why do we feed these suspects better than we do our own noncriminal citizens?

Where are the U.S. priorities, and is anybody worth a bounty of $25 million? Since Al Quaida has a large worldwide membership, are we willing to buy them all? In a sidebar to this story, it is mentioned that the "former" Al Quaida member that ratted out KSM has been relocated to the U.S. with his family. How does the Federal government justify ignoring immigration policy by allowing the "worst of the worst" to settle in the land of the free.

I guess the bounty feeds the media circus, but yesterday's bad boy is tomorrow's has-been. And tomorrow is where we should be looking.

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