December 24, 2010
NYC Letter: The Incapable Messiah IV
Day 702 of CHOPE
A day before the promise of the Messiah. Elsewhere an earthbound messiah struggles to make good his big loud promise to close Guantánamo prison.
Last point, Guantanamo. That’s easy. Close down Guantanamo. (Applause.)
then-candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination,
detailing his plan to close Gitmo: easy-peezy
MOUNTAIN VIEW, California November 14, 2007 (WaEx)
WASHINGTON December 21, 2010 (WaPo) - The Obama administration is preparing an executive order that would formalize indefinite detention without trial for some detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but allow those detainees and their lawyers to challenge the basis for continued incarceration, U.S. officials said.
... However, almost every part of the administration's plan to close Guantanamo is on hold, and it could be crippled this week if Congress bans the transfer of detainees to the United States for trial and sets up steep hurdles to the repatriation or resettlement in third countries of other detainees.
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Formalize indefinite detention without trial? That can't be right. Mr. Obama was going to end indefinite detention without trial. He told us so himself, repeatedly, while pandering for the presidency.
As President, I will close Guantanamo, reject the Military Commissions Act, and adhere to the Geneva Conventions.
WASHINGTON December 22, 2010 (NYT) - Congress voted Wednesday to impose strict new limits on transferring detainees out of the Guantánamo Bay prison, dealing a major blow to President Obama’s vows to shut down the center and give federal court trials to many of the prisoners.
... Robert M. Chesney, a University of Texas law professor who specializes in national security matters, said the legislation would make it even harder to close the prison, at the American military base in Cuba. Professor Chesney:A Democratic Congress has done its level best to prevent prosecutions in civilian court. It strengthens the relative position of military commissions, and it separately strengthens the likelihood of continuing to rely on military detention [without trial].
HEY! WHERE'S THE CHOPE?
How? When? Answer: ¡Olvídalo!
[Picture source: Amnesty International]
December 22, 2010 (Politico) - Language contained in the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act passed by the House and Senate on Wednesday bars the use of Pentagon funds to transfer any Guantanamo prisoner to the U.S. for any reason, including a trial. Some supporters of the plan Obama announced on his first full day in office to close the prison said the passage of the legislation signals nearly complete capitulation by the president.
"Obama’s original plan is in shambles," said David Remes, an attorney for 14 Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo. "From the outside it appears to be in shambles because he was never sufficiently committed to the success of his own plan, and as a result, Republicans were able to mobilize to turn the issue against him, and he provided the congressional Democrats no leadership."
Enough bemoaning the "plan". Team Barry never had a "plan" for closing Gitmo. Mr. Obama banjaxed the political consensus to close Gitmo for lack of a plan. In 2009 a Democratic Congress denied the White House funding to close Gitmo and relocate detainees for lack of a plan, a lack the White House privately acknowledged. Now the same outgoing Democratic Congress has specifically prohibited closure and transfers in a defense bill for the same lack of a plan.
Thwarted by his own party at home, Mr. Obama went abroad to dump detainees on a "re-engaged" international community. The international community had long squawked to have Gitmo closed. Piece. O. Cake.:
The New York Times described the efforts by the US as "a global bazaar of sorts", saying unorthodox incentives offered by the US included International Monetary Fund assistance for the Maldives and a promise of a meeting with President Obama to Slovenia, although the meeting and prisoner delivery did not eventuate.
The cables reveal that the US flattered Belgium in an attempt to get it to take detainees, indicating taking a lead role would help make the country more influential in Europe.
Other dispatches suggest Beijing was angered by the refusal by the US to send Uighur prisoners from Guantanamo back to China, with their ambassador to Kyrgyzstan calling the move "a slap in the face". Germany and Finland were allegedly warned by China of damage to bilateral relations if they agreed to take in any of the prisoners.
To the relief of the Obama administration, the South Pacific island nation of Palau agreed Wednesday to take the 17 Muslim Uighurs from China who're still being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, the first major release of detainees since President Barack Obama announced his plan to close the prison by January. ... Spokesman Ian Kelly also confirmed that the U.S. and Palau...are discussing a $200 million U.S. aid package for the next several years, but he said there was no connection between the two discussions.**
So let's be clear. There is no "plan", there was no "plan", to be "in shambles" or any other state of ruination. It is Mr. Obama's reckless and insistent campaign taunt that is "in shambles".
During a press conference Wednesday, Obama reiterated his support for closing Guantanamo. However, he did not say, and was not asked, what he planned to do about the legislation on his desk that would make it more difficult — if not impossible — to do that.
"Obviously, we haven't gotten it closed," Obama acknowledged.
For their part, some liberal activists have expressed suspicion that the administration might quietly have favored passage of the legislation, since it could sweep the politically difficult decision over a Sept. 11 trial off the table and offer an explanation of sorts.
You think. [Pause.] Mr. Obama's campaign brags were never once challenged by an adoring MSM with a simple monosyllabic interrogative, How? From his first day in office, he hadn't a clue how. Team Barry has tinkered with Mr. Bush's legacy policies -- leaving them largely intact -- and tried to fob this off as the sweeping reform rejecting those selfsame policies Mr. Obama promised.
Special pre-Christmas present! Here is the complete sad procession of posts on Mr. Obama's finger-snap closure of Guantánamo:
New plan: give each detainee a bus ticket to Kabul, USD $50, a box lunch and deposit them at the North Pole.
* American Rhetoric incorrectly gives the year of the address as 2006. The date shown above is correct.
** Of course, if there were linkage, this would be the sort of "bought" diplomacy the left ridiculed among Bush alliances. Were this a payoff it works out to a $9,500 and change bonus per Palauan or an $11,764,705 bounty per Uighur.Posted by Damian at December 24, 2010 02:00 PM