Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Why Guantanamo Is Still Open

Via Jammie Wearing Fool, we get this:

The White House is preparing an Executive Order on indefinite detention that will provide periodic reviews of evidence against dozens of prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, according to several administration officials.

But the order establishes indefinite detention as a long-term Obama administration policy and makes clear that the White House alone will manage a review process for those it chooses to hold without charge or trial.

JWF concludes with this question:

Is it just me or is Club Gitmo going to still be open when Obama leaves office?

Tough question, but I’ll go out on a limb and answer . . . yes!

And that leaves us where?


On his second day in office, Obama signed the Executive Order that required Guantanamo be closed in one year. Throughout the year, it became clear that the deadline was not only arbitrary, but meaningless and unenforceable. Greg Craig, former White House Counsel who was given the lead on efforts to close Guantanamo was eventually dumped back in November of 2009. His departure was accompanied by a spate of stories claiming he was to blame for Guantanamo remaining open.


Craig fell into disfavor with other top officials over his handling of Obama’s plan to close the Guantanamo Bay prison.
Craig’s critics said he failed to anticipate the wave of criticism in Congress, which led to a series of lopsided votes last spring against bringing any Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. While many observers said it was a mistake to ask Congress for $80 million to close Guantanamo before being ready to announce where the prisoners would go in the U.S. and how they would be tried, Craig’s allies said the notion that he decided such issues of legislative strategy by himself was preposterous.
According to officials, the White House took much of the Guantanamo portfolio away from Craig earlier this year, handing most policy issues to the National Security Council, legislative issues to Obama senior adviser Pete Rouse, and communications issues to deputy communications director Dan Pfeiffer.

Marc Ambinder:

But part of why Gitmo won't be closed in January is because Craig could not -- or would not - crack skulls in the interagency process. It took the wily lawyering of Alberto Gonzales and David Addington to get Gitmo open, and it's going to take some of their skills -- wills of steel, political savvy, institutional savvy -- to get the thing closed.

Ah, it all becomes clear now, doesn’t it?

In the whole world of Democratic and liberal political/legal talent -- not one single person can match the wily lawyering and political and institutional savvy of . . . Alberto Gonzales.

1 comment:

  1. But...but...what about the moral urgency...the children....we have to do it for the children.....

    or not.