Thursday, May 14, 2009

Remember the Obama Promise to Close Gitmo?

Well, even the U.S. Senate is thinking that it is a bad idea. DISSENTING JUSTICE has the story:
And just when it seemed that all of these changes in anti-terrorism policy were too good to be true, today's Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration might indefinitely detain some Guantanamo Bay inmates in the United States following the closure of the facility. Presumably, the indefinitely detained individuals would include the 50-100 people Gates described in late April.

The Senate, however, has already launched an effort to block the potential policy. Today, the Senate will consider legislation that would give Obama emergency money he has requested to fund the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison. The legislation, however, would grant the funds only if the President agrees not to transfer any suspected terrorists to locations within the United States.

If the Senate measure fails, then the Obama administration could potentially implement the indefinite detention policy. According to the Wall Street Journal article, possible plans include indefinite detentions within the United States authorized by a newly created "National Security Court."

The use of a special National Security Court to determine whether the government could detain suspects would go against Obama's campaign assertion that these individuals should have full habeas corpus rights. The idea of indefinite detention contradicts his campaign rhetoric that condemned this practice.
Author Darren Hutchinson then asks the question: "How does the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects in the United States, as opposed to Guantanamo Bay, represent an improvement over the Bush administration's policies?"

The answer is that it isn't. But what the move does prove is that national security and the personal security of American citizens is not a high priority for the Obama Administration (not that I have figured out what his priorities actually are).

Read some of the comments as well for some true snarkiness.

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