Saturday, December 1, 2012

Close GITMO? We've Heard That Song Before

Last Wednesday, Senator Dianne Feinstein tried to resuscitate a dead political issue by releasing a Government Accountability Office study on the feasibility of closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and transferring its inmates to prisons in the United States. She had commissioned the GAO study in 2008.

Why release the report now, three years after the expiration of the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline to close GITMO? Because, as she told the New York Times:

“This report demonstrates that if the political will exists, we could finally close Guantánamo without imperiling our national security.”

Really? Where does she think this political will might exist? Not in these United States, where both the House and the Senate passed bills to prohibit closure back in 2009, when that was still a live possibility. Passed them by overwhelming margins. Gallop polls back then found that 65 percent of Americans opposed moving GITMO prisoners to the U.S., and by even higher margins opposed moving the prisoners to their own states.  

One day after Senator Feinstein's trial balloon, another Senator introduced the latest amendment to prohibit closing GITMO:

The Senate late Thursday night approved a Republican amendment [to an annual defense authorization bill on the Senate floor this week] that would prohibit the transfer of terrorist detainees from Guantánamo Bay to U.S. prisons.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) introduced Amendment 3245, which would prevent the Department of Defense from using funds to move suspected terrorists from Gitmo facilities to prisons within the United States.

Kelly Ayotte is a Republican but the Senate is controlled by Democrats, and the amendment passed 54 to 41. Count that vote and see how much political will there is to close GITMO.

The defense authorization bill already contains a ban on transferring any more GITMO detainees to foreign countries. There's that political will thing, again.

Senator Feinstein might as well pull that trial balloon back down and put it away. 


Anonymous said...
TSB: Hooray for the NYT paywall once again being a paper tiger!! I alway like to read Friedman to see that he is leading us once again to his next book: Possible title, "How The Middle East Became Flat Rubble". I thought the comments section was particularly good. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Great tweet about Byron Smith.
That sort of crime has become so common in Portland, Ore suburbs that guys from Texas are even driving there to steal the coin collections and stuff while they are out of town. People don't realize the internet can tell anybody all about what you're doing and when. gwb

James said...

I say work release. Some landscape work around the White House. Give them a chance to repay their debt to society and build meaningful lives(unemployment, social security, fed housing, etc).

Anonymous said...

TSB: Wouldn't John Kerry be the go to guy on DC water sports issues? After a bowl of popcorn that came to me. That Senate microphone seems to be wide open lately. Think of the jobs if model boat owners could get tax credits too! I would have to install a special tub but if the government would pay for it??? gwb

TSB said...

James - Good idea. Like a cross between the CCC camps of The Great Depression and Cool Hand Luke. I'd like to see those guys doing road work for The Walkin' Boss.'

GWB - You're right, Kerry would certainly understand the plight of Americans who are denied the full enjoyment of their model yachts and speedboats. And, of course, wind surfboards. Add in tax breaks and government spending on infrastructure, and you have a perfect storm of issues for Kerry. You should write him!

James said...

In the spirit of your reply I have a message for Washington I hope they listen "What we have here is a failure of communication."

Anonymous said...

TSB: Hats off to juan cole! This Binney guy who left the NSA explains that we now live in a "TOTAL SECURITY STATE". That means that "what is wrong or right" is whatever someone in the government decides. Anne Applebaum's new book on how the Soviets imposed the same thing on Europe is great reading just because the exact same thing is upon us now. It will be nice to get those wimps on the Supreme Court to add an "Aye Aye" to this Patriotic state of affairs. (And thanks to Gen. Allen for demonstrating how the whole thing works! gwb