The two hikers finally freed from an Iranian prison demonstrate why the existence of Guantanamo matters:
At the very least, it destroys our credibility when we criticize anyone else for it. What will we say when another nation tortures one of our soldiers captured in war? What could we possibly say?
“In prison, every time we complained about our conditions, the guards would immediately remind us of comparable conditions at Guantanamo Bay,” he said. While the hikers don’t believe American policies “justify what has been done to us,” he said, “We do believe that these actions on the part of the U.S. provide an excuse for other governments, including the government of Iran, to act in kind.”