Nation Review‘s Andy McCarthy writes:
President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder contend that America’s civilian federal prisons are secure. Our “supermaxes,” they insist, are up to the task of confining the most lethal terrorists. Even if that were true (and history shows it is not), the argument is the most hollow of strawmen. These terrorists are not going to escape — they are going to walk right out the prison gates. They are going to be freed by a perverse new legal system, an ad hoc creation of progressive federal judges, assisted mightily by an Obama Justice Department rife with lawyers whose former firms and institutions spent the last eight years representing America’s enemies.
It didn’t have to be this way. President Obama could have gone to Congress and won legislation creating a durable, long-term, and sustainable framework for legal detention. One not just for detainees currently at Guantanamo, but for future high-value captures outside of Afghanistan. But Obama chose a different path. Heritage fellow Cully Stimson explains why:
So what is really going on here? To those of us who have either served in senior policy posts and dealt with these issues on a daily basis, or followed them closely from the outside, it is becoming increasingly clear that this administration is trying to create the appearance of a tough national-security policy regarding the detention of terrorists at Guantanamo, yet allow the courts to make the tough calls on releasing the bad guys. Letting the courts do the dirty work would give the administration plausible cover and distance from the decision-making process. The numbers speak for themselves.
Of the 38 detainees whose cases have been adjudicated through the habeas process in federal court in Washington, 30 have been ordered released by civilian judges. That is close to an 80 percent loss rate for the government, which argued for continued detention. Yet, how many of these decisions has this administration appealed, knowing full well that many of those 30 detainees should not in good conscience be let go? The answer: one.
Letting the courts do it for him gives the president distance from the unsavory release decisions. It also allows him to state with a straight face, as he did at the Archives speech, “We are not going to release anyone if it would endanger our national security, nor will we release detainees within the United States who endanger the American people.”
No, the president won’t release detainees; he’ll sit back and let the courts to do it for him.