Americans are a good-natured bunch — sometimes too good-natured for our own good. We have trouble believing that some folks have nothing but bad intentions. And that can get us in trouble. We can get suckered by our niceness.
I remember during the Cold War, one of my journalist friends got to be friendly with some Soviet diplomats, who later turned out to be KGB spies. "Gee, and they seemed like such nice guys," my friend told me once the truth came out. I was reminded of this during the most recent to-do about the 500 or so pathetic-looking terror suspects being kept down in Guantanamo.
Now, I know the arguments against keeping these suspects in legal limbo. But these are not your normal criminal suspects. These 500 Gitmo detainees were selected out of 70,000 fighters captured in Afghanistan.
Think about that: Out of 70,000 men fighting for the right to blow up more World Trade Centers, only the 500 worst are still being kept in Gitmo. Most of the others were let go. In fact, at least 12 of the fighters who were released from Gitmo went right back to attacking our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
But still we hear from stalwart defenders of freedom, like the United Nations Human Rights Commission, that Gitmo is a travesty and needs to be closed down. Never mind that no one has died there. Never mind that only five cases of abuse in four years have been upheld and those responsible were punished. That's not bad when you consider that these hard-core jihadists do everything they can to kill, bite or at least fling their waste at guards every chance they get.
These are the kind of folks that Americans have a hard time understanding, because we just can't believe any group of people could be that bad. But if we're going to win this War on Terror, we have to get real about who it is we're fighting… even at the risk of losing some brownie points from the United Nations.
David Asman host's FOX News Channel's "Forbes on FOX" Saturdays at 11 a.m. ET