Obama Plans to Close Guantanamo

 

Fulfilling one of his last campaign promises, Obama has sent Congress his plan to close the Guantanamo Bay prison:

Unveiling the plan from the Roosevelt Room at the White House, the president made clear his frustration at how what was once a bipartisan goal shared by both his predecessor, President George W. Bush, and his 2008 Republican opponent, Senator John McCain, had become a partisan dispute. He urged Congress to give his plan a “fair hearing,” saying the prison wasted money, raised tensions with allies and fueled anti-American sentiments abroad.

“I am very cleareyed about the hurdles to finally closing Guantánamo — the politics of this are tough,” Mr. Obama said during a 17-minute statement. He added: “I don’t want to pass this problem on to the next president, whoever it is. And if, as a nation, we don’t deal with this now, when will we deal with it?”

Congress required Mr. Obama to present a plan as part of the most recent defense authorization bill, and its basic approach echoed the strategy the administration has already been pursuing for seven years. It centers on bringing between 30 and 60 detainees who are deemed too dangerous to release to a prison on domestic soil, while transferring the remaining 91 detainees to other countries.

The plan offered few specifics, and did not identify any of the potential replacement facilities. Pentagon officials visited military prisons at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and Charleston, S.C., as well as several civilian prisons in Colorado — where many terrorists are already held in the “supermax” wing of the complex at Florence — in preparing the study.

Do you think Obama’s plan has any chance of getting through a GOP-controlled Congress? And, if not, how do you think the President will respond?

There are 58 comments.

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  1. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    And if, as a nation, we don’t deal with this now, when will we deal with it?”

    What, exactly, needs to be dealt with?

    I heard this soundbite on the radio and all I could think of is that this is a solution in search of a problem. Does Guantanamo need to be closed?

    • #1
  2. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    As if it were needed, one more piece of evidence that the man is a petty, vindictive moron.

    • #2
  3. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Ricochet Editor’s Desk: The plan offered few specifics, and did not identify any of the potential replacement facilities. Pentagon officials visited military prisons at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and Charleston, S.C., as well as several civilian prisons in Colorado — where many terrorists are already held in the “supermax” wing of the complex at Florence — in preparing the study.

    Don’t those facilities pretty much guarantee objectively worse living conditions for Gitmo detainees than what they have now?

    In WWII they didn’t send German POWs to a heckhole like Alcatraz!

    • #3
  4. Frozen Chosen Inactive
    Frozen Chosen
    @FrozenChosen

    From what I’ve read about Gitmo, it’s a prisoner’s paradise, other than the confinement.  How can Obama say they would be better off in one of the US based prisons?

    • #4
  5. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc
    @Metalheaddoc

    DrewInWisconsin:

    And if, as a nation, we don’t deal with this now, when will we deal with it?”

    What, exactly, needs to be dealt with?

    I heard this soundbite on the radio and all I could think of is that this is a solution in search of a problem. Does Guantanamo need to be closed?

    Uh. Wasn’t he gonna do this on his first day in office?

    And, yeah, why is this a problem that needs to be fixed now, or ever? It’s not a tent city or some temporary shelter.

    • #5
  6. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Frozen Chosen:From what I’ve read about Gitmo, it’s a prisoner’s paradise, other than the confinement. How can Obama say they would be better off in one of the US based prisons?

    According to the OP the justification is now to cut costs and improve America’s international PR, not to improve the conditions for detainees.

    If I wasn’t so lazy I’d go a-Googlin’ to find the President’s original statements explaining why Gitmo needed to be shut down. Vague memories suggest it was that they weren’t “real” POWs and should never have been detained without trial in the first place.

    And yet, now they’re so dangerous that they need to be kept in a Supermax?

    So … much … cynicism.

    • #6
  7. A-Squared Inactive
    A-Squared
    @ASquared

    DrewInWisconsin:What, exactly, needs to be dealt with?

    I heard this soundbite on the radio and all I could think of is that this is a solution in search of a problem. Does Guantanamo need to be closed?

    He needs to close the prison there so he can return the Naval Base to his buddy Castro during his upcoming trip to kiss Fidel’s ring.

    • #7
  8. Redneck Desi Inactive
    Redneck Desi
    @RedneckDesi

    Obama is checking off boxes on his Phuket list

    • #8
  9. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    A-Squared:

    DrewInWisconsin:What, exactly, needs to be dealt with?

    I heard this soundbite on the radio and all I could think of is that this is a solution in search of a problem. Does Guantanamo need to be closed?

    He needs to close the prison there so he can return the Naval Base to his buddy Castro during his upcoming trip to kiss Fidel’s ring.

    I really wonder if you are right here. He has far more interest in high profile leftwing wish lists than anything that is  good for America.

    And Drew, you are right: Guantanamo is a gift from God. We shouldn’t ever close it  down.

    So, Obama gets a twofer: 1) leftwing project gets accomplished and 2) Obama can start the process to give the land to Castro.

    This sounds awfully anti-American if that’s what Obama really cares about — what a joke. The idea that a person who is as anti-American as he is actually worries about such things is absurd on its face.

    • #9
  10. Paul Dougherty Member
    Paul Dougherty
    @PaulDougherty

    You know, there is an abandoned Naval Base on Adak, Alaska.

    • #10
  11. Bob W Member
    Bob W
    @WBob

    Al Quaeda terrorists kill nearly 3000 people in the name of Islam mostly in NY City, and a few years later most of the citizens of that city vote for a man with a Muslim name running on a platform that includes being nicer than we are to captured Muslim terrorists in Gitmo, including the specific terrorist who planned that attack. You can’t make this up. Obama is just a symptom of the delusional self righteous narcissism of large segments of the population.

    • #11
  12. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    I think Obama is going to spend his last year in office proposing a series of far-left policy ideas, with the idea that either Republicans will vote them down and the media lapdogs will paint the Republicans as evil obstructionists in an election year (as if they need encouragement), or they might actually get passed.

    It’s a win-win for Obama either way.

    Obama is awful and needs to go away, but never forget that we wouldn’t even have to be dealing with Obama if it weren’t for the media.

    • #12
  13. A-Squared Inactive
    A-Squared
    @ASquared

    Larry Koler: I really wonder if you are right here. He has far more interest in high profile leftwing wish lists than anything that is good for America.

    I think Obama would dearly love to return the naval base to Cuba, but I don’t think even he could do it in 11 months.  But he is undoubtedly hoping that a President Clinton (or Biden if the conspiracy theorists are right) will be able to fulfill his dream once the prison closes.

    • #13
  14. Frozen Chosen Inactive
    Frozen Chosen
    @FrozenChosen

    DrewInWisconsin:I think Obama is going to spend his last year in office proposing a series of far-left policy ideas, with the idea that either Republicans will vote them down and the media lapdogs will paint the Republicans as evil obstructionists in an election year (as if they need encouragement), or they might actually get passed.

    It’s a win-win for Obama either way.

    Obama is awful and needs to go away, but never forget that we wouldn’t even have to be dealing with Obama if it weren’t for the media.

    And the American people…

    • #14
  15. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Bob W:Al Quaeda terrorists kill nearly 3000 people in the name of Islam mostly in NY City, and a few years later most of the citizens of that city vote for a man with a Muslim name running on a platform that includes being nicer than we are to captured Muslim terrorists in Gitmo, including the specific terrorist who planned that attack. You can’t make this up. Obama is just a symptom of the delusional self righteous narcissism of large segments of the population.

    Yes, when you put things this way it seems we must be visiting Bizarro World (Superman reference) where everything is opposite to the real world. How is it that people didn’t see that Obama was a grifter who hates America and wants to do us harm? Dinesh D’Souza says he’s a con man from start to finish.

    • #15
  16. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    DrewInWisconsin:I think Obama is going to spend his last year in office proposing a series of far-left policy ideas, with the idea that either Republicans will vote them down and the media lapdogs will paint the Republicans as evil obstructionists in an election year (as if they need encouragement), or they might actually get passed.

    It’s a win-win for Obama either way.

    Obama is awful and needs to go away, but never forget that we wouldn’t even have to be dealing with Obama if it weren’t for the media.

    Yes, this is how some friends and co-workers of mine are able to make the false claim that America is moving to the right. It’s because the media and Obama pretend to occupy the reasonable center and then when they try to get anything done the Republicans stop it (if they can) and since they are in the majority in the congress it must mean that we have moved to the right.

    In reality the GOP is only put in power to stop the left wing slide from turning into a summer-salt.

    • #16
  17. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    He’s said this kind of thing before. I’ll believe it when I see it.

    • #17
  18. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Ricochet Editor's Desk: He urged Congress to give his plan a “fair hearing,” saying the prison wasted money, raised tensions with allies and fueled anti-American sentiments abroad.

    Isn’t President Obama and his lily-livered foreign policy the source of raised tensions with allies and anti-American sentiments?

    The nerve of this man talking about wasting money…what was that website that cost a billion bucks?

    • #18
  19. wilber forge Inactive
    wilber forge
    @wilberforge

    Obama’s goal is to créate a can of worms at any opportunity prior to exit. The act of transferring these hatefull beasties will simply imply a celebrity status to them. Pause for a moment, for as they may get civilian court treatment, CAIR and those like minded will  become involved. That is too ghastly to consider. The time remaining until Obama leaves will be tedious and filled with deceit further endangering  the Republic.

    If Congress fails to defy this action, it may the Straw that –

    • #19
  20. DeanOuellette Inactive
    DeanOuellette
    @DeanOuellette

    Congress will deny this. The Senate already has stated so. The senate leadership is scared shiatless right now by what is going on. Don’t be surprised if this is the year they finally say no to Obama. We give them a hard time, but they are smart enough to realize they need to stand up to BHO.

    • #20
  21. Chris Campion Coolidge
    Chris Campion
    @ChrisCampion

    DeanOuellette:Congress will deny this. The Senate already has stated so. The senate leadership is scared shiatless right now by what is going on. Don’t be surprised if this is the year they finally say no to Obama. We give them a hard time, but they are smart enough to realize they need to stand up to BHO.

    The other thing is that whatever political capital Barry had to spend is now gone, and Senator and Congressmen don’t need him anymore – in fact, they might need him less as his net negative won’t help them on a campaign.

    He’ll be able to raise a lot of money for the DNC post-presidency but only the true believers are going to publicly schmooze with him.

    A better question is:  Is now the time when we’ll see the oceans stop rising?  So many amazing promises.  So much accomplished.  What a hellhole our lives would be right now if not for Barry!

    • #21
  22. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    As I’m apparently the only person on the other side of the GITMO issue here …

    I need to look at this more carefully, but my initially reaction is finally. Perhaps others have some better reasons, but the two most common justifications for GITMO — that they’d be sued out of prison, or that they’d be broken out in some sort of al Qaeda raid — don’t hold up. If somehow a separate wing on Leavenworth were insufficient to the task, we’ve millions of acres of federal property and dozens of closed military bases. There’s absolutely no good reason to rely on this legal asterisk in the Caribbean, unless we really are that afraid of our own shadows.

    • #22
  23. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    And for clarity’s sake, it’s also shameful that we haven’t finished the military commissions for these scum. Those who we are provably guilty under the lax standards of evidence in such things should be promptly executed; those who we can’t find guilty under even those circumstances we should just own up to and let go. I expect the outcome to be weighed heavily toward the former, and good riddance.

    All of this should have been completed years ago.

    • #23
  24. A-Squared Inactive
    A-Squared
    @ASquared

    Tom, next time you are on a battlefield, make sure you follow proper procedures for collecting evidence when capturing POWs.

    I agree that Congress should declare war and treat these people as POWs, but it’s hard when you have a President that wants to surrender in that war.

    Regardless, trying these people in our civil court system is a bad idea which is what will happen when they land on US soil.

    • #24
  25. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    A-Squared:Tom, next time you are on a battlefield, make sure you follow proper procedures for collecting evidence when capturing POWs…

    Regardless, trying these people in our civil court system is a bad idea which is what will happen when they land on US soil.

    It wouldn’t be a civilian court; it’d be a military tribunal. Do you think civilian courts are going to send US Marshals to take custody of al Qaeda guys from the military? I don’t see that happening and I certainly don’t see it succeeding.

    And the standards of evidence are very lax in these tribunals, as they should be. “We found this guy fighting with known al Qaeda members” should do very well. If that doesn’t work with the current rules, then 1) that’s shameful, and 2) fix it.

    And in the case of some of these al Qaeda scum, like KMS, there are veritable mountains of evidence.

    • #25
  26. A-Squared Inactive
    A-Squared
    @ASquared

    As I understand it, the standard of evidence is not substantially lower, the military commission simply has a lower standard for burden of proof and allows classified evidence.

    And yes, once they touch US soil, they will have access to the US court system. That is why they were moved to Gitmo instead.

    • #26
  27. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    A-Squared:

    As I understand it, the standard of evidence is not substantially lower, the military commission simply has a lower standard for burden of proof and allows classified evidence.

    I believe it’s both.

    • #27
  28. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    If we can’t find them guilty and execute them could we arrange a soccer game and drone the lot of them?

    • #28
  29. Bill R Member
    Bill R
    @BillR

    The prisoners at Guantanamo. Don’t they spend a lot of time trying to escape?  I understand the escape attempts are non-stop.

    • #29
  30. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    Bill R:

    The prisoners at Guantanamo. Don’t they spend a lot of time trying to escape? I understand the escape attempts are non-stop.

    And how many of them have succeeded?

    • #30

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