Fred Hutchison
Dyer equates Guantanamo with the Soviet Gulag
By Fred Hutchison
March 17, 2009

(Letter to the editor — the Columbus Dispatch)

In a spectacular moment of irrationality and moral confusion, columnist Gwinne Dyer drew a moral equivalent between the terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay and the prisoners of the Soviet Gulags.

See here Mr, Dyer! The prisoners of the Gulag were citizens of the Soviet Union who were suspected of political crimes because they failed to follow the communist party line in their words and deeds. The prisoners in Guantanamo are not American citizens and they were not in the uniformed army of a foreign nation and who were captured in battle. They are international vigilantes devoted to the massacre of Americans and Jews whether soldiers or civilians, and whether men, women or children. The Al Qaida members that destroyed the twin towers were straightforward in expressing their determination to destroy Western civilization and to force the world into the oppression of Sharia law.

So what do we do with genocidal murderers who use random terror and who recognize no law of nations and no homeland. No nation is willing to accept these international thugs as their own. Do we recognize them as prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention? No, because they were not the uniformed soldiers of a nation with whom we at war. Do we treat them as criminals? No, because they do not commit crimes for personal profit. They might blow up a school, but would not think of violating laws against drinking or eating pork, or stealing a loaf of bread, or even violating an ordinance against jaywalking and sitting on the street.

Where do such dangerous and unclassifiable people belong? They belong in extra-national holding facilities which are outside the direct sovereign jurisdiction of nations — like Guantanamo, or the rendition program.

President Bush's solution was wise and proportional to a situation outside of standard categories. But Mr. Dyer, who suffers from Bush derangement syndrome cannot resist painting Bush as a soviet commissar who is tormenting Alexandre Solzhenitsyn in a concentration camp in Siberia. Really, Mr. Dyer!

A message from Stephen Stone, President, RenewAmerica

I first became acquainted with Fred Hutchison in December 2003, when he contacted me about an article he was interested in writing for RenewAmerica about Alan Keyes. From that auspicious moment until God took him a little more than six years later, we published over 200 of Fred's incomparable essays — usually on some vital aspect of the modern "culture war," written with wit and disarming logic from Fred's brilliant perspective of history, philosophy, science, and scripture.

It was obvious to me from the beginning that Fred was in a class by himself among American conservative writers, and I was honored to feature his insights at RA.

I greatly miss Fred, who died of a brain tumor on August 10, 2010. What a gentle — yet profoundly powerful — voice of reason and godly truth! I'm delighted to see his remarkable essays on the history of conservatism brought together in a masterfully-edited volume by Julie Klusty. Restoring History is a wonderful tribute to a truly great man.

The book is available at

© Fred Hutchison


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Fred Hutchison

Frederick J. Hutchison attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, as an undergraduate, and Cleveland State University to get his Master's degree in business... (more)


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