Obama’s Shattered Dream to Kill Gitmo

Nichole Hungerford is associate editor at FrontPage Magazine.


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While the defense authorization bill was under consideration, the administration has been quietly working on an executive order to formalized indefinite detention without trial for problematic detainees. Anonymous officials speaking to both The New York Times and The Washington Post said the executive order would create a revised review process, one that was “more adversarial,” like that of a court room. Prisoners would then have the ablity to contest their detainment more vigorously. In addition, White House officials related that “detainees who have lost their habeas [corpus] petition [will have] the prospect of one day ending their time in U.S. custody,” according to The Washington Post. But is this for Guantanamo optics? For prisoner psychology? For the actual possibility of releasing terrorists? From the details we have now, the new plan is concerning.

What is ironic, as The New York Times pointed out, is that many on the Obama team were once critical of the president’s predecessor, President George W. Bush, for being too unilateral with counterterrorism measures. Yet, the plan in the works for indefinite detainees will be enacted through an executive order, the Times presumes, because the administration fears legislation from the Congress would be too “draconian.” If this is true, we should be clear about what this means: the administration is apparently concerned the Congress will be too harsh on captured terrorists, each of whom has a dossier of inculpating evidence showing them to be “too dangerous” to be release. If the administration accepts they are too dangerous, then their guilt and status as fanatical killers has already been established. Why the White House continually goes to such lengths to protect the interests of these individuals, which will in the end amount to agonizing over courtroom procedural minutia, is almost incomprehensible.

Leftist “human rights” groups such as Human Rights Watch and the ACLU are predictably upset with both the transfer ban and the Obama administration’s resignation to indefinite detention. After his first taste of serious criticism from the Left over the Obama-GOP tax deal, which prevented tax hikes for all, even wealthy Americans, Obama seems to be on the cusp of delivering another resounding disappointment to his left-wing base. At this juncture, problematic detainees will likely never be moved from Guantanamo Bay. And military commissions are here to stay. Perhaps for the better.

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  • Reason_For_Life

    Obama is an authoritarian. Why would a dictator wannabe get rid of a prison for "terrorists" when he can decide who is a terrorist? Remember Homeland Security's new threat – returning veterans, gun rights advocates and right wing groups?

    Civilian trials are such a burden requiring proof beyond a reasonable doubt and with strict constitutional protections of individual rights. Why would Obama want to use civilian courts with open evidence when he can use tribunals with secret evidence?

    He isn't going to get rid of Guantanamo. He's keeping it for an emergency, you know, the kind that would be a shame to waste.

  • davarino

    Hehehe, what an amateur. Its easy to yell and scream from the peanut gallery when you dont know what the hell your talking about, but when you actually become president, reality sets in and you have to quickly change course.

    Watch, he may become a capitalist before 2012, or better yet, a conservative hehehhe

    Not holding my breath

  • Rifleman

    Illegal combatants should be tried by military tribunal and hung with no spectacle or fanfare. We need not compromise our classified info in the slightest to do so.

    • BS77

      Thank you Rifleman……..we are going on TEN years since 9/11…….KSM and his ilk are still on hold, eating pizza and ice cream at Gitmo…. and still no trial date yet….Civil trial in NEw York? Military tribunal? Who knows……….

      KSM and his gang should have been terminated after a military tribunal YEARS ago. FDR had non uniformed foreign armed combatants, spies and sabateurs tried and executed without delay.

  • http://foraff.org Pat English

    I'm very pleased that closing Gitmo is not an option and that the prisoners there will be tried in Gitmo rather than coming to the US. If they ended up in the US they would have constitutional rights and lawyers would probably get them all off because they were not mirandized. What was Obama thinking when he decided to close down Gitmo. Is he nuts?

  • Stephen_Brady

    Obama doesn't need Gitmo for the "crisis". I live just 6 miles away from an empty detention facility that could house 450 people, with local National Guardsmen training there … as "guards" … on a regular basis. It is partially visible from the Illinois River.

    And now, Obama will get a ready-made force of the new SS in the military, in the form of "gay" soldiers …

  • K. Bond

    Where is the same mass media now that would quickly stand up and scream George Bush is a liar, every Monday Wednesday and Thursday?

    Now they are silent, never mentioning all the G.D. lies that have spewed frrom Os disgusting gray lipped mouth.

    RE: the mass media: Hipocrisy with a capital F. To hell with the mass media and the Hollywood elite.

    Crapola.

  • USMCSniper

    150 former Guantanamo detainees are either “confirmed or suspected of reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities,” according to a new intelligence assessment released by the Director of National Intelligence’s office on Tuesday. In total, 598 detainees have been transferred out of U.S. custody at Guantanamo. 1 out of every 4, or 25 percent, of these former detainees is now considered a confirmed an active terrorist.