GITMO Not Gone

It seems that the Senate is finally holding the line on spending. There will be no money for a GITMO shutdown.

WASHINGTON (AP) - In a major rebuke to President Barack Obama, the Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to block the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the United States and denied the administration the millions it sought to close the prison.

The 90-6 Senate vote--paired with similar House action last week--was a clear sign to Obama that he faces a tough fight getting the Democratic-controlled Congress to agree with his plans to shut down the detention center and move the 240 detainees.

Last month, Obama asked for $80 million for the Pentagon and the Justice Department to close the facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by January. In the eyes of the world, the prison has come to exemplify harsh U.S. anti-terror tactics and detention without trial for almost all of its inmates, most of whom were captured in Afghanistan.

The administration put its Democratic allies in a difficult spot by requesting the Guantanamo closure money before developing a plan for what to do with its detainees.

Obama is scheduled to give a major address Thursday outlining in more detail his plans for Guantanamo, but it's already clear that Congress has little appetite for bringing detainees to U.S. soil, even if the inmates would be held in maximum-security prisons.

How about that? 90 to 6 in a Senate with 60 Democrat members. Dear Leader seems to be losing control of his own Party. The question is: do the Democrats in Congress have any more appetite for the carbon tax commonly referred to as Cap and Trade? Or the total dismantling of the current health care system? It is one of the reasons Presidents like to get as much done as possible in their first 100 days in order to prevent the opposition to various proposals from coalescing.

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 05.21.09 at 03:44 PM


Seeking funding to close Guantanamo - actually the prison portion - is complete nonsense, nothing more than a political dodge.

Obama simply seeks to avoid the consequences of his own words.

O can already order our military to send the prisoners to a military base in the US immediately. And guard them there. And it would be done.

That is what being Commander In Chief means.

There are two issues regarding these captives. First, are the prisoners being mistreated at GITMO. If they are, then stop doing that.

Again, O can order that today, no added permission is needed.

The second issue is how to handle trials, release, and/or rendition.

Both Congress and the courts, and now even Obama, agree that military trials are legal. Therefore GITMO is as good a place as any to conduct them. And if military trials are legal it follows that releasing prisoners must also be legal.

We know exactly why Obama wants them on US soil. He wants them released and hopes the courts will do that so no one will blame him.

K   ·  May 23, 2009 3:36 PM

K, Yes, he merely needs to shop around for a suitably leftist circuit court (ala ACLU).

Athena   ·  May 24, 2009 1:25 AM

Athena: It probably will end with a whimper just as you say.

I don't believe anyone but the Justice Department and the prisoners will have standing for an appeal. So after any judge orders a release the AG can just decline to appeal upward.

Holder can say there was no prospect of winning an appeal.

Anyway, it is a political game. If O doesn't get support from Congress I think they stay out of the US.

O has the winning hand if he dares play it. These people are held by the military and he can release any or all of them. No one can stop that.

K   ·  May 24, 2009 3:03 AM

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