Congress Bans Guantanamo Detainee Transfers to the U.S.

Congress bans Guantanamo transfers for trial or any other reason. It also put the kabosh on using U.S. prisons to house Gitmo detainees.

The measure for fiscal year 2011 blocks the Department of Defense from using any money to move Guantanamo prisoners to the U.S. for any reason. It also says the Pentagon can't spend money on any U.S. facility aimed at housing detainees moved from Guantanamo, in a slap at the administration's study of building such a facility in Illinois.

Obama claimed yesterday he still supports closing Guantanamo, but he didn't mention the legislation, which he obviously intends to sign since it contains his funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

[H]e said he remained committed to eventually closing the prison at Guantánamo because it was a symbol that was “probably the No. 1 recruitment tool” for terrorist propaganda.

At the same time, he's drawing up a plan for indefinite detention of terror detainees. If they can't be detained in the U.S., where's he going to put them besides Guantanamo? Are we going to buy or take over more prisons in Iraq or Afghanistan and ship them there? Out of sight, out of mind. [More...]

What about the military commission trials for the 9/11 defendants? Will he also hold those in newly built or taken-over Iraqi or Afghan prisons? I wouldn't put it past him. And then what? When running for reelection in 2012, he'll probably boast he's kept his promise to close Gitmo.

Karen Greenberg at the Guardian writes of Obama's step backward on Gitmo and the detainees:

With the announcement of indefinite detention as a policy, rather than a possibility, the United States will cross a threshold that, as torture did, takes us back to the past, a past before the introduction of trials, when guilt and innocence were decided by signs from the heavens and an appeal to God, rather than to legal processes conducted by men.

In this case, the judgment of the executive will be substituted for that of the heavens. In this new century, tribalism has come face to face with globalisation. Time and again, it seems, we are running backwards, rather than forwards.

Sen. Dick Durbin deserves no pass in the matter. Even though he voted for the ban yesterday, like Obama, he wants you to remember he supported closing Gitmo and buying the Illinois prison (where plans were to hold trials for some and indefinitely detain others.) His excuse: he's just facing "the political reality."

"...that issue has been resolved politically, and this bill, the language in it, reflects the political reality."

So the new standard in politics is, if you can't win, vote with the other side. Whatever happened to standing up for what's right?

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  • Display: Sort:
    If the left has (4.50 / 2) (#4)
    by dead dancer on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 10:02:48 AM EST
    always been the left (L) and the old right has

       L             C            OR

    moved to the extreme right (ER)

       L                          C OR                 ER

    so the center is now the old right:

    Obama is the old right. And the left is left unrepresented!

    SEP (none / 0) (#5)
    by Andreas on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:39:19 PM EST
    And the left is left unrepresented!

    Well, you can help the Socialist Equality Party and the WSWS to defeat the despotic regime represented by the Democrats and the Republicans.


    Obama administration preparing executive order to authorize indefinite detentions
    By John Burton, 23 December 2010


    Perhaps (none / 0) (#1)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 08:45:00 AM EST
    Maybe Bush (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 08:56:24 AM EST
    will finally be voted out in 2012?

    Well said J (none / 0) (#3)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 09:22:05 AM EST
    There is a political reality called the presidential veto. Time to start using it if he cares about little things like tyranny.

    It's gonna be a long walk home, as The Boss said. Except he, like me, thought it was going to start in 2009.

    You know that flag flying over the courthouse
    Means certain things are set in stone
    Who we are, what we'll do and what we won't"
    It's gonna be a long walk home