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Kathy Rose

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Want to Close Guantanamo? No Problem

Posted: 08/12/09 11:54 AM ET

Why is everyone making such a fuss about where to move the couple hundred men who are still at Guantanamo? "Not in my state," Congress howls. "Not in my country unless you take some first," the Europeans say. And the countries that say they want the men back? We don't trust them not to torture them, so we say no.

I have the solution. I live in a huge anonymous apartment building in Manhattan. You could move every last one of those guys right in and no one there would mind. The men could arrive a few at a time with their humongous suitcases, just like the other short-term renters. The other tenants wouldn't even know who they were, or care. The management would even be grateful. I hear that a lot of lower-level Wall Street guys moved out when the economy crashed, leaving plenty of empty rentals.

This place is so anonymous that I not only don't know the people next door, but I'm not even sure there is anyone next door. In fact, I have long contended that the Al Qaeda leaders actually lived next door and that the reason I never see anyone coming or going is that they are lying low.

Some of the men from Guantanamo aren't bad guys. They just need a place to call home, and they are going to find a lot more people who appreciate their culture and talents here in Manhattan than in Palau or the Bahamas. There aren't many jobs these days, but if they are going to find something, it's likely to be here, and then they can spend their time off doing what all the other folks in Manhattan do all the time: go to the gym, get carry-out and shop.

As for the bad guys, they'll have enough to do learning to get around the city that we probably won't have to worry much about them. I mean, have you ever tried to figure out the map in the subway? They'd probably get lost in there forever, endlessly diverted to shuttle buses or other routes or waiting for subways that don't actually run on that day or that hour or for the next few months.

If they make it to street level, the sight of all those drills with the police cars racing down the streets with their sirens going and lights flashing is bound to intimidate them. Anyway, where are they going to find bomb parts in Manhattan's upscale shops? It's hard even to find a place that sells light bulbs these days. And maybe they will be so happy to be out that they will reform their ways. It's worth a try, and the rent -- even in Manhattan -- would be a lot cheaper than a maximum security prison.

As for me and my fellow tenants, as long as they don't have loud parties, try to be the first one out of the elevator or throw up and pass out in the halls (like the tourists they rented to during a former downturn in the rental market), we will get along just fine. We probably won't even have to worry about them getting drunk and setting their beds on fire.

Think about it. New York welcomes diversity. We are happy to do something for our country. Those of us still here after the fear-mongering of the last few years aren't going to get upset about a few more bad guys. And no one else will even know they're here.