Club Gitmo to stay open.
On January 22, 2009, as one of his very first official acts as President. President Obama signed an Executive Order which instructed the Government to close the Terrorist Detention Facility at Guantanamo Bay Cuba. As he signed it, he announced that America would live up to its values.
He realized a few months later, it would be impossible. The nations that the detainees came from didn't want them back. The countries in question refused to accept responsibility for the detainees, and the Administration was left to trade them as part of deals.
Then there were the detainees who readily admitted that they would attack us if we released them. That threat coupled with the roughly twenty five percent of those released who were again captured fighting us later gave President Obama more pause.
Now, he has signed a law that keeps Gitmo open. If that wasn't enough, he also signed an order reinstating the Military Tribunals to determine guilt of the detainees. So Bush was a war criminal for doing this, does that make Obama a war criminal too?
Some on the left are starting to think so. They are outraged that President Obama, the Hope and Change himself, would not only embrace the Bush policy, but essentially give Bush a pass on that policy.
The Democrat Party until death group swears that President Obama had no choice. It passed with a Veto Proof majority. Yet, he could still veto it. That would send it back to the Congress, who would have to pass it over his veto. Then he could go down in History as standing up for what he believed in. Instead of trampling his own executive order.
Now, what do I think? I think that people should be willing to put their money where their mouth is. If you think that Club Gitmo is so wrong, then do something about it. If Congress says no to Federal Trials, then smile and instead order the prisoners released to their own countries no strings attached. When the Congress shouts, tell them that the Constitution gives you little other choice. You see, the Constitution demands a speedy trial, and does not allow you to detain someone for extended periods without due process. When one of the people you released does do another act of terrorism, then you can blame Congress for not allowing you to follow the Legal and Constitutional path.
Instead, Obama took the easy way out. What that shows is he never really believed what he said before. He wasn't really willing to close Gitmo, instead signing a worthless order that he had every intention of voiding later more quietly.
At least George W. Believed he was doing what was right, and the courts agreed that Guantanamo Bay was not the United States, and the Constitutional requirements did not apply there. So it seems that W had more integrity regarding his beliefs than Obama did. If the Democratic Congress had passed a law ordering all detainees be transferred from Guantanamo to US Courts, even with a Veto Proof Majority, I bet Bush would have vetoed it anyway.