Friday, September 25, 2009

Gitmo no go 

It hasn't been a great week for the Obama administration plans regarding the closing of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

On Thursday, AP reported (picking up the Washington Post's reporting) that the administration would
"not seek a new law spelling out how it can hold terror suspects indefinitely without bringing charges...that the government's authority to hold someone indefinitely without charge will be based on the congressional military force authorization passed after the 2001 terror attacks."
The 2001 AUMF was the same rationale that the previous administration used to deal with what I termed "Group Five" detainees this spring, following President Obama's speech on the subject.

Today's Washington Post reports that the Obama administration isn't likely to meet the deadline for shutting down Gitmo:
"With four months left to meet its self-imposed deadline for closing the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Obama administration is working to recover from missteps that have put officials behind schedule and left them struggling to win the cooperation of Congress.

Even before the inauguration, President Obama's top advisers settled on a course of action they were counseled against: announcing that they would close the facility within one year. Today, officials are acknowledging that they will be hard-pressed to meet that goal."
It's not necessarily the sign of bad management and leadership to set an aggressive goal, not knowing for certain whether it can be accomplished on time. After all, a good part of leadership is inspiring and enabling others to reach beyond where they thought they could reach, and do so as a team. The problem is, the Gitmo goal was put out there in President Obama's first few days in office, so maybe he should have gone for something with a higher probability of success, just to kind of set the table for future goals. That his political and electoral base was obsessed with this issue should not have mattered to him once he took the oath of office, and was in charge of making national security decisions for all Americans.

Now it seems likely that, in the eyes of the anti-Gitmo section of his party, President Obama will turn out to be not much of an improvement over President Bush on this matter. The facility will still be open, and the AUMF will still be used to justify indefinite detention, thus demonstrating yet again how different campaigning is from governing.


By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Fri Sep 25, 09:23:00 PM:

Yep, he's chickenshit. Close the place. Prosecute Cheney and all those lawyers who wrote memos justfying it. Partisans fighting the Nazis were enemy combatants, as were Minutemen in 1775. Kill, torture, hold them in dungeons. That was ok then, ok in 2002-2008, and ok now, I guess.

Sorry, there was a severely anti-Obama episode of Law & Order on this very thing on NBC tonight...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 25, 10:17:00 PM:

"It hasn't been a great week for the Obama administration..."

This week, Obama has been embraced by every 2 bit thug on the planet, even Ahmadinejad, for selling out his country, first at the UN, then at the G20, until this morning when an allied government threw a monkeywrench in Barry's carefully crafted appeasement of Iran. Ajad was not happy with Bambi this morning.  

By Blogger Escort81, at Fri Sep 25, 10:37:00 PM:

Christopher - don't go all Michael Moore on us, comparing AQ or insurgents to the Minutemen. It insults my ancestor who fought in the American Revolution (he was in a unit that used hit-and-move tactics against the Brits), nor does it lend praise to the first casualty of the "pre-war" revolt in 1770, Crispus Attucks, to associate him with people who randomly attack civilians to make a political point.

And I've kind of lost track of the TV show Law & Order, although I think it used to be pretty good.

I'm just sayin', don't be surprised when Rachel Maddow rips the POTUS a new one. Again. (Sorry, that's a particularly grotesque image).

By the way, in theory, before a lawyer gets prosecuted for providing advice, isn't a first step usually some sort of ABA inquiry, or does that come after?  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sat Sep 26, 02:38:00 AM:

"Christopher - don't go all Michael Moore on us"

What else would you expect from an ignoramus like Chrissy? Chrissy was very emotionally invested in BO's success, boasting a few months ago that BO was "large and in charge". Now that BO is being exposed, Chrissy's fragile world is crumbling. Even Law & Order is "severely anti-Obama". Outright sedition is rampant.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sat Sep 26, 07:51:00 AM:

Sorry CC...Barry's Big Adventure doesn't seem to be working out very well, does it.

Who would have guessed??  

By Anonymous Patrick, at Sat Sep 26, 09:09:00 AM:

I never thought it should have been closed, what bugs me is the moral posturing and sanctimonious tone adopted by Obama about closing it, and how his acolytes and the media (or are they the same thing?) ate it up during the campaign. Something tells me it won't be the same pressing issue for the media that it was under Bush.  

Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?