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  • Gitmo 2.0: Obama Skips a Step

    The Obama Administration announced today that it will move one hundred Guantanamo Bay detainees to a prison in rural Illinois. This move is considered a step forward in Obama’s campaign promise to shutdown the Gitmo facility. By doing so, however, Obama is skipping a critical step in this process—the creation of a long-term detainment framework that will keep Americans safe and hold terrorists accountable.

    The benefits of the Guantanamo Bay facility arguably outweigh the costs in terms of price, security, and location. While undoubtedly the Bureau of Prisons could handle the security risks associated with these detainees, FBI Director Robert Mueller has emphasized that moving these detainees to the U.S. undoubtedly brings security risks. It is, however, within the President’s prerogative as Commander-in-Chief to make a decision as to where to prosecute these national security detainees. Obama’s preference was expressed during his presidential campaign when he promised that he would close down the Gitmo facility and put place in substantial oversight aimed at remedying what he perceived as Bush era abuses.

    Today marks a step in this process. However, this decision puts the cart before the horse, leaving out a significant step in a responsible transition out of Guantanamo Bay. First, there are a number of legal authorities that specifically prohibit putting these detainees on U.S. soil. Second, and most importantly, this decision skips over the development of a framework for dealing with future detainees in the long run. Simply moving terrorists out of Gitmo and inside the United States does not end the issues associated with detainment. For instance, once inside the United States, what rights will be afforded to detainees, what authorities will be in place to ensure their prolonged detainment, what will happen if they are ordered release, and what if these individuals are not apprehended on the battlefield of Afghanistan?

    These are all concerns that are currently left unanswered under the present framework. As Heritage Foundation’s Cully Stimson phrased it, “closing Guantanamo or merely moving the detainees to the United States without addressing the serious underlying challenges and questions regarding detention policy in this ongoing conflict is essentially changing the zip code without confronting the broader challenges.” And if history is guide, absent guidance from the legislative or executive branch, inaction by Obama essentially punts these issues to the judiciary, where activist judges could degrade this valuable national security tool.

    What Obama should have done first is get specific congressional authorization for a prolonged detention—this is in line with his promise to make America’s image stronger in the world. However, moving forward on closing Gitmo without a legal and workable detention policy in place weakens U.S. detention policy, and puts the courts in the driving seat of America’s national security.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    17 Responses to Gitmo 2.0: Obama Skips a Step

    1. Stirling, Huntingdon says:

      Welcome to the "Shell game" that is this administration's policies. You make promises that "sound" good (from a PR Standpoint), but have serious flaws when it comes to "real life" solutions. Moving Terrorists to the United States does not, and will not change the mindset of the extreemists who wish to destroy our country (it never has and never will). It just gives them access to our federal prision and legal system from which to further their cause.

    2. Robin, Missouri says:

      What does this mean for our rights as American citizens? Will there be new precedence set for us? If detainees can be held indefinitely then what stops the governemnt from holding us indefinitely? If the detainees can be prosecuted without being mirandized then will U.S. Citizens be prosecuted without being mirandized? Eric Holder was asked "what if" there are acquittals. He said that they would never be released. Could we as US Citizens be held indefinitely even if we were acquitted? I haven't heard anyone asking these questions.

    3. Bobbie Jay says:

      Obama likes to keep his friends close to home.

      This is nothing but an appeasement to the punishment with the potential, these inhumane individuals will walk.

    4. Gary, CA says:

      The author of this article makes a very good case that has my agreement. This action seems to be the fulfillment of an aspiration to present the U.S. as a just country that lives up to its ideals, but it appears to be short sighted in multiple respects. The practical and legal were well stated. As with so many current issues, the leadership of especially congress and the administration appear to be unconcerned about and ill prepared to make well considered decisions in regard to arduous and complicated problems. What is worse is that this course of action appears to me to play directly into the jihadist's hands. Although Gitmo is believed to be an example of inhumane treatment and injustice in the Muslim world, what actual evidence has been shown that supports such an accusation? Won't its closure be seen as a tacit admission of guilt by that very audience which confirms the propaganda that branded it as such? And to compound the error, the presence of the detainees on U.S. soil held without regard for our own constitutional rights will be an intolerable irritant to our legal system and a glaring hypocrisy which will increasingly fester the longer that it stands becoming another propaganda victory for our enemy. I am sure that it can, so I am afraid to ask. How can the handling of this policy get any worse?

    5. American-Texas says:

      This is a very bad idea.The quality and training of prison guards cannot in any way in "all of the universe" compare to the training ofthe military.Being a prison guard is a dangerous job so many of the general population that gets hired are of a caliber far below any military trained professional.There are good people that are prison guards but through my experience as a prison guard-most arent qualified and are hired to just fill the job because most people dont want to be a prison guard as it is a dangerous job. The terrorists are professionals,there are cells within the united states-all that would need to happen would be for the terrorists to escape,or escape with the help from the cells already here and create a whole lot of death and destruction here -within our country.

    6. American-Texas says:

      What will happen to Gitmo???? If one is to believe the theories out there -would Gitmo be used by the "world government" to militarily establish,support its efforts and agenda on America ???? It does seem logical-Gitmo is close,you wont have to have any problems with the populous or with being inside any countries borders is defensable….

    7. Roger, Henderson, Nv says:

      once again obama and his gang has shown his stupidity

      where is the supreme court , congress and the rest of them that we the people pay to protect our rights.

    8. Bob, Portland, OR says:

      Now watch what happens to Chicago.

      Thousands of militant muslims will move there to be close to sheik mo and his buddies.

      These folk will make Blago look like a choir boy.

      By By Chicago as we know it.

    9. Brad S,, Detroit, MI says:

      Of all the campaign promises that Jesus 2.0 made, he only kept one. This one, and it is a colossal mistake.

      How did we elect this guy ? The only thing he has ever run in his entire life is his mouth.

    10. DiAnne, Minneapolis says:

      Cully rocked the house yesterday on Fox! In a sentence, this action is not only fiscally irresponsible but morally reprehensible.

    11. Linda Carlsbad, CA says:

      Obama does things his way. He doesn't care about rules, his rules trump all rules and laws. He is a dictator!

      When is Congress going to wake up and realize Obama and his czars run this country.

      What is Congress going to do about it? What ever happend to our Constitution? Our Bill of Rights?

      Where is my country that I love?

    12. Jerry from Chicago says:

      Thompson Correction facility in Illinois basically has no one in it at present. The residents of Thompson, IL have been clamoring to have Gitmo detainees transferred to their facility because it would mean jobs for them. Currently, the prison has no inmates.

      Illinois Senator Dick Durbin has been campaigning for this transfer to show the good folks at Thompson how he's looking out for them. President Obama, from Illinois, wants to show his home state how he's looking out for them.

      What I don't understand is why Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is releasing convicted felons early here in our state. Seems to me that if we have an empty prison in Thompson, Gov. Quinn could send these convicts there instead of letting them out early. Could it be because the Feds are willing to buy the Thompson facility from Illinois for hundreds of millions of dollars and pay the people who run it?

      So now, Illinois gets to unload an empty prison, selling it to the Feds for big money, put a few hundred people in Illinois back to work and get the Feds to pay for it. So will Governor Quinn use these new found funds to pay for keeping our convicted criminals in jail? I wouldn't hold my breath.

    13. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      Senator Durbin (D) IL, was very articulate in supporting this action.

      The least the federal government can do is honor him by naming it:

      "The Durbin Dentention Facility"

      Geez. Talk about a way of stimulating the economy.

    14. Bobbie Jay says:

      Gitmo will be used to imprison those that know the truth!…or that are against the government take-over…same thing!

    15. Pingback: A Constitutional National Security Crisis of Obama’s Own Creation | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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    17. Pingback: Politico: Is Scott Brown a “Game Changer” on Terrorism? | Conservative Principles Now

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