4. Guantanamo Bay
We’ve heard for ages that Guantanamo Bay will be closed, yet the indefinite detention center persists. Why not declare Gitmo inessential and get rid of the source of international embarrassment while we have the excuse?
Oddly enough, the government shutdown has allowed for some interesting loopholes in the handling of Guantanamo prisoners. Since Congressional restrictions ended along with the government funding, it would actually be easier to release the detainees who pose no threat.
Don’t hold your breath, though. “I would say that though [the shutdown] may mean some of the restrictions on transfer are not currently in force, that is not currently what is preventing the transfers from happening,” said Human Rights Watch representative Laura Pitter. “It is political will. The president certainly had the power to make the transfers happen before the shutdown.”
5. Drug Enforcement Administration
I wouldn’t necessarily advocate eliminating the DEA entirely, but while we’re furloughing people, it wouldn’t hurt to send some of those temporary pink slips to Drug Enforcement agents. The mismanaged “war on drugs” is one of the main factors that contributes to this country having the number one incarceration rate in the world and disproportionately locking up people of color, even though studies suggests whites and non-whites use illegal drugs at equivalent rates.
Instead, the government has deemed the DEA an “essential service.” It must be comforting to know that they can always find money to lock up individuals whose worst crime is generally battling an addiction.
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