Guantanamo

Obama Proposes Basic Plan to Close Gitmo, Needs Congress to Approve

Doesn't appear to be doing much to get Congress on board.

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National Guard

President Obama has again proposed a plan to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, more than seven years after first signing an executive order mandating its closure.

Obama's proposed plan involves the "careful" transfer of 35 detainees to other countries, expediting the review process for the possible transfer of the other 56 detainees to other countries, use of "all of the legal tools" to resolve remaining detainee cases before military commissions, and transferring detainees who cannot be sent overseas to an undetermined facility in the United States.

Obama promised to keep working on closing Guantanamo at his last State of the Union, but nothing in this proposal appears like anything that couldn't have proposed last month or last year. Critics of the closure of Guantanamo Bay, like Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), say they want to know more about the "terrorist activities and affiliations" of detainees before approving any plan on closing Gitmo.

Obama's first attempt to close Guantanamo, in 2009, was thwarted in large part by then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Before announcing the current plan, the White House started a feud with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Reid's likely replacement as Senate Democratic leader, over terror funding (and/or?) the Iran deal. Schumer had complained, as New York politicians are wont to do, that the federal government was not sending New York enough taxpayer money for counter-terrorism.

"At some point, Sen. Schumer's credibility in talking about national security issues, particularly when the facts are as they are when it relates to homeland security, have to be affected by the position that he's taken on other issues," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said last week, referring to Schumer's opposition to the Iran deal rather than attempting to make some kind of principled case for smarter federal spending on counter-terrorism. That failure, and Obama's apparent relish in bucking Congress on issues ranging from foreign policy to immigration, don't bode well for the Obama administration's prospects of success on closing Guantanamo.

Meanwhile, Republicans like the presidential candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, worry that closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay would be just a worrying step toward something they consider even worse. "He is releasing terrorists that our soldiers bled and died to capture," Cruz told a CNN town hall last week, misrepresenting the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo. "And the next president is going to have to send soldiers out to capture them again or kill them when they return to waging jihad."

Cruz continued: "And I fear that by the end of this year President Obama plans to give the Guantanamo Navy Base back to Cuba, which would be undermining U.S. national security interests profoundly."

At least he's a defender of the Constitution and not a neo-con?

NEXT: No, President Obama didn't joke about Justice Scalia's death at National Governors Association

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  1. SEEEEEEE! The Lightbringer said he’d close Gitmo and here he is doing it.

    1. He’s trying to close a place called Gitmo for political purposes. The spirit lives on.

      1. I heard a little bit of his speech, and he used 100% Republican small government talking points on why he’s closing it. It costs too much, it’s too expensive, it’s unnecessary facility.

        Not once did I hear him say one fucking word about the policy that supplies Gitmo with inmates. What a difference a term makes.

  2. Critics of the closure of Guantanamo Bay, like Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), say they want to know more about the “terrorist activities and affiliations” of detainees before approving any plan on closing Gitmo.

    How, exactly, are we supposed to do that with a group of people that are mostly there on the say-so of another group of (untrustworthy) people?

    Well, see – back in 2004 Abdul and Aade were having a dispute over exactly where the property line between their two farms was, so Aade came and told us that Abdul was involved in an attack on our troops six months prior so we grabbed Abdul and drug him out Pakistan, where he confessed to the Pakistani MI interrogators. So we put him on a plane to Gitmo.

    1. You beat me to what I wanted to quote, Aggy:

      Critics of the closure of Guantanamo Bay, like Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), say they want to know more about the “terrorist activities and affiliations” of detainees before approving any plan on closing Gitmo.

      Perhaps Senator Kelly Ayotte and the like should read the dearth of information about the detainees which the U.S.G. intelligence agencies has no doubt gleaned from their investigations and interrogations over the past decade plus since the detainees/captives/prisoners were incarcerated.

      Also – what Aggy wrote.

  3. Oh and here I had almost forgot it was an election year.

    1. It’s either that or a soundbite for the State of the Union.

    1. Explain yourself immediately.

      1. *prepares for incoming twerk video*

    2. I have no response to that, HM

      Pause….

      Perhaps I do, and this could bring that man back?

      1. Doubtful. It isn’t known as la petite mort for nothing.

  4. Guys, guys, guys! The problem isn’t that we’re holding people indefinitely without trial.

    The problem is that an evil man named George Bush invented a place called Guantanamo Bay, and Obama is fixing it! We should be thanking him!

    1. All Obama would have to do is send those ranchers from Oregon down there, and the left would suddenly be totally cool with Gitmo.

      1. I’ve actually heard lefties propose that.

      2. That might not be enough to satisfy their bloodlust.

        I saw several calls for summary execution on Facebook.

  5. So Obama is planning to close Guantanamo Bay the same way he ended the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan or ended the War on Drugs. The exact same horrifying policy will continue under a different name.

  6. “Needs Congress to Approve”

    Those words couldn’t possibly have come out of Obama’s mouth.

    1. He says them all the time when he’s punting on an issue that actually is within his power.

      1. Yep this is entirely a get out the vote effort thats why he punted to the GOP held congress knowing full well they are going to say “no”.

        I don’t think it will make a huge difference though. I doubt Gitmo is a big issue for most voters.

        1. Certainly not for the undecideds.

      2. “Yeah, I’d like to wrap this up, but I’ve got a tee time, and then I gotta get ready for the big party for Jay-Z we’re hosting tonight. What do you say we just send over to Congress?”

      3. Keystone and fracking rules come to mind. He just waits long enough to make a decision until nobody cares about that particular issue much anymore, or until opinion has moved enough to make it politically expedient (gay marriage). He’s perhaps the most brilliant president in decades, but brilliant only at image politics and an idiot on things that matter.

      4. He says it even when he already has explicit statutory authority to act.

  7. Doesn’t appear to be doing much to get Congress on board.

    Wait, constantly trolling Republicans doesn’t get them to support his agenda? This is my shocked face.

  8. So Obama is only trying to help get the next Dem elected, and still never actually cared about closing Guantanamo. This is such a half-ass measure it’s like he’s not even trying anymore.

    P.S. I think Gitmo should close, but here’s more hilarious timing for Obama: http://www.mediaite.com/online…..-in-spain/

    1. Anymore?

      1. Fore!

    2. Don’t matter none.

      Obama’s proposed plan involves the “careful” transfer of 35 detainees to other countries.

      Emphasis added.

  9. So Obama doesn’t need congressional approval to take military actions to overthrow Libya but does need it as commander in chief to order troops stationed at a navy base home?

    1. Makes sense.

      1. What if he order the troops at Gitmo to leave, but not come home, but rather to attack Venezuela? Congressional approval or no?

        1. Venezuela is in just as dire straits as some of the other countries he’s bombed, so it’s not too far fetched. However, Venezuela is in shambles solely because of failed socialism, so he wouldn’t want to draw any attention to it.

  10. We should be Berlin-airlifting TP and other basics to Venezuela along with copies of the Road to Serfdom and similar works.

  11. I read somewhere that Col. Jessup’s pretty pissed about the idea of closing Gitmo, but excited that we may finally get a female president.

    1. Is that the truth?

  12. Obama’s proposed plan involves the “careful” transfer of 35 detainees to other countries, expediting the review process for the possible transfer of the other 56 detainees to other countries, use of “all of the legal tools” to resolve remaining detainee cases before military commissions, and transferring detainees who cannot be sent overseas to an undetermined facility in the United States

    How is it that any of this going to square the situation with the most notable complaints about the situation at Gitmo? Sending them to other countries does nothing to address the constitutional complaints. The military courts were one of Obama’s original complaints. Then, sending the remaining prisoners to yet another facility is just a shell game.

    I see no solution to any of the complaints about Gitmo and no remedy to the image problem that Gitmo has brought about. This can only be trolling of congress because it solves nothing.

  13. They should hold off until Trump is in power then they can waterboard these guys and find out if they have any terror attacks planned and also if they know the pin to the SB shooter’s iPhone.

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