Friday, May 08, 2009

The Gitmo Mess

The Republican site devoted to the detention of the Gitmo detainees has put up a Wall Street Journal editorial about what WSJ terms “Obama’s Gitmo Mess”.

But first, take a look at their video about the muddle:

And it is a murky mess. The president was rash in his campaign statements and made promises he can’t get anyone with common sense – or anyone who wants to get re-elected – to agree with:

On his second day in office, President Obama ordered the Pentagon to mothball Guantanamo within one year, purportedly to reclaim the “moral high ground.” That earned applause from the anti-antiterror squadrons, yet it is now causing all kinds of practical and political problems in what used to be known as the war on terror.

Somewhere on You Tube there is a video of the big to-do made about his signing of this presidential order. But it quickly became obvious he was clueless about the details of the order he made such a Big Deal of signing. It was embarrassing to watch him squirm. So way back on Day Two, we saw little Barry Soetoro…and that glimpse of the real Obama didn’t instill confidence in anyone who witnessed his blank look when asked about the details on Gitmo. What details? That was for his aides to figure out.

Now he’s up to his neck in problems over this bold signature photo op:
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This mess grew even more chaotic this week, when Democrats refused the Administration’s $50 million budget request to transfer some of the remaining 241 Gitmo detainees to a prison likely to be somewhere in the U.S. and perhaps to a new one built with taxpayer dollars. “What do we do with the 50 to 100 -- probably in that ballpark -- who we cannot release and cannot try?” Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently asked Congress.

The best answer is Gitmo. But the antiwar left wants terrorists treated like garden-variety criminals in the civilian courts or maybe military courts martial. The not-so-minor problem is that even states that send leftists to Congress don’t want to host Gitmo-II. Think California, where Alcatraz could be an option. The abandoned San Francisco Bay prison has Gitmo’s virtue of relative isolation -- but Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, claims it is a national treasure. The terrorist-next-door problem is also rising to a high boil in Kansas politics, given that Fort Leavenworth is being eyed too.

More urgently, the Administration risks losing all control once enemy combatants set foot on formal U.S. soil, which the courts could determine entitles the terrorists to the same Constitutional protections as U.S. citizens. One federal judge has already ordered that 17 detainees -- the Uighurs, a Chinese ethnic minority -- be released domestically. Another judge has ruled that the Supreme Court’s 5-4 Boumediene decision, which granted detainees the right to file habeas petitions in U.S. courts, extends to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, where the military is holding three times as many prisoners as Guantanamo.

In his Boumediene dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts indicted the majority’s “set of shapeless procedures to be defined by federal courts at some future date,” and was he ever right. How will judges prevent the public disclosure of classified material? What about Miranda rights, or evidence obtained under battlefield conditions?

Such questions nearly scuttled the Justice Department’s case against Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, which flamed out last week with a sentence of only 15 years. According to the plea agreement, al-Marri entered the U.S. on September 10, 2001 on orders from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to begin research on chemical weapons and potential targets. Prosecutors were hampered by the possibility of disclosing intelligence sources and methods, as well as (yet another) political flare-up about interrogation and detention.

For these reasons and more, the Obama Administration has done a 180-degree turn on George W. Bush’s military commissions. Mr. Obama called this meticulous legal process “an enormous failure” during his campaign and suspended it when he cashiered Gitmo, but now Mr. Gates says it is “still very much on the table.” The Administration may soon announce that it will be reactivated, with a few torques to the rules of secrecy and evidence to attempt to appease the human-rights lobby.

The hardest Gitmo cases are those prisoners who are known to be dangerous or were actively involved in terror networks but haven’t committed crimes per se. Others involve evidence that is insufficient for successful prosecutions but sufficient enough to determine that release or transfer would pose a grave security risk. Many of these detainees are Yemeni, and the Yemeni government is demanding that Washington repatriate them.

That would be an unmitigated disaster, whatever Yemen’s promises of rehabilitation. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair recently reported that Yemen “is re-emerging as a jihadist battleground and potential regional base of operations for al Qaeda to plan internal and external attacks, train terrorists and facilitate the movement of operatives.”

Terror groups have conducted some 20 attacks on U.S. or Western targets in Yemen, the most recent in September against the U.S. embassy, which killed six guards and four civilians. The recidivism rate of those detainees who the military has judged to be good candidates for release from Gitmo is already high, and the danger for the 90 or so Yemenis and others ought to be unacceptable.

Which brings us back to Gitmo’s new location, if it ever gets one. Since 1987, the political system has been deadlocked over burying a negligible amount of nuclear waste deep within a remote mountain in Nevada, so it’s hard to imagine how it will deal with a terrorist problem that is far more -- how to put it? -- radioactive. Safe to say that any new setting will not be in a 2012 swing state, and you don’t have to be a cynic to wonder if it will have two Republican Senators. Mr. Obama could have avoided this mess had he kept his Gitmo options open, but to adapt a famous phrase, the President broke Guantanamo so now he owns the inmates.

That “famous phrase” is from his good buddy, Colin Powell, who said it in reference to Iraq and Bush.

But that last paragraph gives me an idea: let’s build a place for nuclear waste deep in a remote mountain in Nevada, and let’s send the Gitmo detainees killers there, also.

Two birds with one stone, and problems solved.

Just ask me anytime, Mr. President. Glad to help.


Zenster said...

Another judge has ruled that the Supreme Court’s 5-4 Boumediene decision, which granted detainees the right to file habeas petitions in U.S. courts, extends to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, where the military is holding three times as many prisoners as Guantanamo. [emphasis added]

This has to be the height of insanity. Have America's battlefield prisons suddenly become International Soil? It's safe to say that those countries we currently assist in fighting Global Terrorism certainly do not think these bases are American soil.

So, how in blue blazes is some bleeding-heart activist judge able to construe that these foreign caught enemy combatants are entitled to all aspects of the American judicial process?

Moreover, literally 100% of these enemy combatants were likely apprehended out of uniform while engaging our troops in battle.

According to the Geneva Conventions, such individuals are entitled to one thing and one thing only: Summary execution as spies in a time of war.

It goes beyond ironic or, even, idiotic how the capture and retention of these terrorist spies for further interrogation should somehow entitle them to anything more than swift execution after being drained of whatever knowledge that they may have.

The prospect of these homicidal swivel-eyed Islamic psychopaths being allowed onto American soil, much less being released from custody upon it, approaches a level of criminal conspiracy to abet our nation's enemies.

During World War II such actions would have been called by their more familiar and appropriate name:


laine said...

Where is the leftist desire to abide by international rules when it comes to America's enemies? Leftists and activist judges are constantly promoting the idea that American citizens in the United States should bow and scrape to the UN's preferences, international rules and world government.

Suddenly, when it comes to captured hostiles, American law should reach out to every part of the globe and protect THEM on foreign soil.

The only consistency that Leftists show is to be wrong on absolutely everything. They have a positive genius for it. You'd think they'd miss one element somewhere, one careless slip and do the right thing by accident, but no. They are fiendishly consistent.

Czechmade said...


and that is the reason islam is like their reflexion in the water. They are bound to like it.

Their whole mental edifice is built on a basic non-sense. They love it - they produce easily endless non-sense chains, which are suddenly logical to them.

We need a thick book highlighting this perpetuum mobile disaster. Comparing both. Muslims also loved socialist ideas in ME. It must have been irresistible to them.

Twin monsters. A love story.

Czechmade said...

Nomadic logic of unproductive people elevated to "faith" via personality cult. Jihad ethic instead of work ethic.

And leftists? Unproductive people dreaming of confiscating, governing and taxing existing businesses and production.

It seems our leftists miss some farming ground to test their productivity. To focus on one spot - reflecting their real work ethic.

Antifa hitting here and there moving quickly, creating illusion of power and numbers - are they typical nomads of our times?

Ron Russell said...

Obama needs to placate those on the left in his party, but he has opened a can of worms. I think his real problem in the future will be those detained at Bagram in Afghanistan. This man, this fool acts without looking at all the facts and its beginning to catch up with him. Good!