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White House Cheat Sheet: Obama's Gitmo Gambit



The prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

When President Obama announced just days into his presidency that the prison at Guantanamo Bay would be closed within one year, it was touted as symbolic of the broader break that the new administration was seeking to make with eight years of Republican rule.

The practical execution of that closure, however, has run into a number of political hurdles.

Republicans, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), have used the Gitmo closure as evidence that Obama is not fundamentally serious about the defense of the homeland.

And, Senate Democrats revolted against Obama on Tuesday -- refusing to provide funding for the closure of the prison until a specific plan on how to shutter the prison and move its 240 detainees is presented to Congress.

The political complexity of the issue is displayed in voters' uncertain attitudes about next steps in terms of Gitmo.

In a January poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News, a majority of voters (53 percent) said the U.S. should find another way (other than holding them at Gitmo) to deal with terrorist suspects while 40 percent preferred the detainees be kept at Gitmo.

Data from a CBS News/New York Times poll in late April shows an even more conflicted American public with 47 percent saying the government should continue to "operate" Gitmo while 44 percent said the prison should be closed and the prisoners transferred somewhere else.

It's that "somewhere else" that is proving to be the rub so far for the Obama administration with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle voicing considerable trepidation over housing suspected terrorists within the United States.

Of Senate Democrats' decision not to include funding for Gitmo's closure on Tuesday, McConnell said that "the American people, who are concerned about their own security and safety, ought to be pleased that our friends on the other side of the aisle are showing some flexibility on this issue and heading in our direction." He added that he hoped that President Obama would display that same "flexibility" in changing what McConnell called an "arbitrary deadline" for shuttering the prison.

The White House expressed no such willingness. For the second straight day, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs insisted that Obama would hew to the one-year timeline. "There's been no change in the date from the executive order," Gibbs said Tuesday.

One senior administration official noted that "if you don't set a date there will always be those who find excuses for why the 'time isn't right'," adding: "A year is reasonable."

Where the issue goes from here depends largely on which side wins the perception game. The White House will make the case that Guantanamo Bay is a sign of everything that went wrong during the eight years of the Bush administration and the best way to put things right is to close it.

Republicans will counter that Obama is putting symbolism over security, noting, as McConnell did yesterday, that not a single prisoner has escaped from Gitmo since it was created, and that it is the best and safest way to keep these detainees from doing harm within the United States.

What's clear from the ongoing debate about Gitmo is that the political complexities of closing the prison are many and varied. Republicans don't seem likely to back down on the issue any time soon -- they believe it is one of the rare areas where they have scored political points on Obama -- and so it will almost certainly come down to whether the administration can keep its own party members in line as the date for closure nears.

What to Watch For:

Wednesday's Fix Picks: Now that "Dancing With The Stars" is over, is there any reason to go on?

1. Democrats rush to Nancy Pelosi's defense on the CIA flap.
2. And, her biographer believes she is telling the truth.
3. Harry Reid says Ted Kennedy will return to the Senate.
4. And, Kennedy's nephew is gearing up for a Senate bid in Illinois.
5. A great piece on the art of Twitter.

NRSC Aids Coleman Recount Effort: The National Republican Senatorial Committee has committed $750,000 to former Minnesota senator Norm Coleman to help cover the vast legal expenses incurred during the former incumbent's lengthy challenge to the election results of his race against Democrat Al Franken. Sources familiar with the move said it should not be read as a down payment for a prolonged Coleman legal battle at the federal level if he loses his ongoing challenge before the Minnesota Supreme Court but rather a good faith effort to keep him from going into massive debt.

Speaking of Minnesota Senate...Kaine Ups Pawlenty Pressure: Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine (Va.) has sent a letter to Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) urging him to call on Coleman to concede the race against Franken. "I urge you to use your influence to bring this process to an end by asking Norm Coleman to allow his neighbors and yours, their full representation in Congress," writes Kaine, pointing out that New York state Assemblyman Joe Tedisco (R) stepped aside soon after a re-canvassing showed him coming up just short in a special election for the state's 20th congressional district. Barring an immediate call by Pawlenty for Coleman to end his legal challenge, which ain't happening, Kaine urged the Minnesota governor to agree to signing the election certificate for Franken if Coleman's ongoing appeal at the state Supreme Court level falls short. "To allow this to process to continue into the federal courts for no other reason than to deny for as long as possible the seating of another Democratic Senator would make what has been a bad situation for Minnesotans even worse," writes Kaine. This letter is part of a coordinated effort to pressure Pawlenty into taking sides rather than sitting on the sidelines. Pawlenty continues to debate whether to run for a third term as governor or to retire and begin planning for a presidential bid but either way he has an eye on his political future and Democrats want to his life as difficult as possible in the short run.

Moran, McAuliffe Spar on TV: After a spirited debate on Tuesday afternoon, former state Del. Brian Moran and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe took their disagreements in the gubernatorial primary to the airwaves. Moran hit first with his inaugural TV ad of the campaign -- casting McAuliffe as wheeler-dealer businessman, cutting "insider" deals that hurt the average Virginian. "Barack Obama ran against exactly the kind of big money politics McAuliffe represents," says the ad's narrator. McAuliffe's campaign was ready, issuing a response ad within an hour of Moran's commercial hitting the airwaves. The ad features two testimonials from people associated with the Federal City National Bank, a company that McAuliffe claims to have saved. "False attacks won't create jobs," says McAuliffe in the ad. With 20 days left before the Democratic primary concludes on June 9, expect significant slings and arrows to be aimed McAuliffe's way as polling suggests he leads both Moran and state Sen. Creigh Deeds. Can the former DNC Chairman hang on?

Spies to Hoekstra: Charlie Spies, who served as general counsel to former governor Mitt Romney's (Mass.) 2008 presidential campaign, will do the same for the 2010 gubernatorial campaign of Rep. Pete Hoekstra. "As a Michigander, this race is personal for me, and I'm confident Pete can turn Michigan around," Spies said of his new post. Hoekstra is one of a number of Republican running for the office, a field that includes state Attorney General Mike Cox, Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land and businessman Rick Snyder. Michigan is among Republicans' best pickup opportunities in 2010, a combination of eight years of Democratic control and the state's badly faltering economy.

Crist Holds Large Lead in Senate Race: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist held a 53 percent to 18 percent edge over former state House Speaker Marco Rubio in a hypothetical Republican primary matchup for Senate, according to a new poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research. Crist was, not surprisingly, far better known than Rubio with a favorable rating of 49 percent and an unfavorable score of just 15 percent. (Rubio by contrast had a favorable/unfavorable rating of 13 percent/five percent.) Crist also held a wide lead over either of the two Democrats in the race: Rep. Kendrick Meek and state Sen. Dan Gelber. Crist led Meek 55 percent to 24 percent and held a 57 percent to 22 percent edge over Gelber. Numbers like those make clear why the National Republican Senatorial Committee was so quick to endorse Crist when he entered the race last week.

Click It!: Nomadic GOP campaign operative Bill Pascoe has settled down long enough to start a blog on politics at Congressional Quarterly. It's called "In the Right" and is worth a bookmark.

Best iPhone Apps: Our final three! Word Warp, Last Call and Space Buster Lite.

Say What?: "If Mitch McConnell doesn't endorse me, it could be the best thing that ever happened to me in Kentucky." -- Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning(R) on his home state colleague during his weekly conference call with local reporters.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 20, 2009; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Next: Mitch Daniels: Republican Revolutionary

Comments

I think the two speeches will respectively energize and validate their respective audiences. Appeals to our fundamental values and the recruiting appeal to AQ of our torture prisons will resonate with the good Americans and appeals to fear and scorn for "PC" will give wood to the gooper cretins. The partisanship will beamplified and very few people will come around to the other's point of view. Cheney said nothing new, he referred to toughness and political correctness and expressed scorn for the values that make America different from totalitarian states. Obama appealed to "the better angels of our nature," which no doubt uplifted people with ideals.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

The outside operations of several prison gangs, such as the Mexican Mafia, Nuestra Familia, the Black Guerrilla Family, the Aryan Brotherhood, and the Nazi Lowriders have all been directed via secret communications from within Pelican Bay's SHU "SuperMax" facility:

http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v01/n707/a04.html

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

After Obama's speech, I wonder what the liberals will say about his "5th category" of detainees who cannot be tried but cannot be released. This should get interesting. LOL!!!

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

John Walker on the other hand, I was very happy to see him arrested and jailed. I wish we had prison space or some way to take every young man who chooses to grow a beard out of the public eye. Ugh. Disgusting.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 21, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

You didn't answer my question. As for your contention that terrorists won't have a league of ACLU lawyers, did you see the link to all the Padilla briefs?

==

Jake do you honestly not understand why most people don't bother to answer your idiotic "questions?" It's hard to imagine anyone being as dense as you claim, especially with so many expressing their disgust with your indefatigable nuisancehood. But then, you are a Republican, your AIP protests notwithstanding.

How many times do you need it explained to you that Padilla did nothing wrong? He was arrested and his mind destroyed as a distraction one of those times Bush's approval took a dive. All Padilla was guilty of was having a big mouth.

Why don't you give yours a rest?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

dre7861:

You didn't answer my question. As for your contention that terrorists won't have a league of ACLU lawyers, did you see the link to all the Padilla briefs?

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

jaked wrote: I will gladly leave it up to you to determine if these lawyers have "half a brain" or not: "

That's an important qualification, jaked, thanks. Yes, in addition to those with only half a brain, there are also sleezebags with no conscience who would, for a proper fee, defend the tobacco industry or anything else. If we want to be complete, I guess I should stipulate now that a motley collection of miscellaneous psychopaths and various authoritarian cults might also fail to understand the utility of the protections guaranteed by the Constitution. That ought to about cover it.

Posted by: nodebris | May 20, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

JakeD wrote: "Anyone else."

Why, yes, since you ask. I also think you are a sad excrescence of humanity. You are the internet equivalent of gonorrhea.

On the plus side, you do an admirable job of discrediting any idea you support.

Posted by: nodebris | May 20, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

From my experience, the best way to reach a goal is to first, define the goal (close Gitmo); second, set a deadline (12 months); then develop a plan to reach the goal. That is what the President did. The Senate majority would have him do it backwards; try to come up with a plan to deal with the detainees before specifically deciding on a goal and with no deadline at all. That is generally the way Congress operates and is a big reason nothing ever gets done on Capitol Hill.

Posted by: dcwsano | May 20, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

JakeD - I just saw your question: I'm not so concerned about escapes, but I have to assume there are not a league of ACLU lawyers trying to get your attacker released?

No I'm not concerned in the slightest with your fantasy about the ACLU. If the detainees being held in Gitmo are guilty then they will stay in prison. Despite Republican jerk-off fantasies of the ACLU conspiring to release every guilty murderer or terrorist are completely bunk.

Posted by: dre7861 | May 20, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys, quit the belly aching. Obama can still meet his one year timeline for closing Guantanamo Bay: just send the terrorists back to Iraq and Afghanistan and hold the military tribunals there. I never got the point of bringing the terrorists here from a war zone to try them. What was that all about.

Posted by: ATLGuy | May 20, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Running the country is not nearly as easy as the previous 43 presidents made it look, eh?

And the pollyana gobbledygook Obama laid on the left to get himself elected was never going to work in reality- a fact that the calculating opportunist Obama likely knew well- back when he was promising them the moon and the stars.

http://reaganiterepublicanresistance.blogspot.com

Posted by: ReaganiteRepublican | May 20, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

In addition:

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/05/20/obama-signing-friday-breaks-transparency-pledge/

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama will quickly sign the credit card legislation that just passed through Congress at a White House ceremony on Friday, according to White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

One problem: this means the President will again break his campaign pledge to post legislation online for five days for the public to comb it over in the interest of transparency before he signs it into law.

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

A lot of us voted for Obama because he promised to restore the rule of law and end the excesses of the Bush administration, with torture and the tribunal system as two of the worst. It's a disappoining possibility that Guantanemo would be kept open, especially for no better reason than to capitulate to fear-mongering Republicans who really have no power to affect policy.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Now, who was it who said a while ago that it is NOT the job of the President of the United States to "keep the American people safe"?

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

More excepts from Gibbs claiming that Obama "understands that his most important job is to keep the American people safe and that he is not going to make any decision or any judgment that imperils the safety of the American people.

Q: So you think there aren’t risks — there aren’t any risks with bringing…

Mr. Gibbs: No, no. I — I — I said that the president isn’t going to make any decisions, judgments…

Q: But he’s already decided to close Guantanamo.

Mr. Gibbs: He has.

Q: So he’s apparently made the decision that there aren’t risks in doing so and bringing some of the detainees to the United States.

Mr. Gibbs: No, because I haven’t said that the — the president hasn’t decided where some of the detainees will be transferred. Again, those are decisions that the task forces are working on and that the president will begin to lay out and discuss tomorrow."

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else?

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Jake, you are here every day, all day, frantically doing battle and LOL-ing with anyone who disagrees with you and frantically trying to engage people who clearly want nothing to do with you, chasing after them with your "questions."

I've been active in here for a few days while I was waiting for my new employers to get their sh*t together and get me my network accesses. They arrived today so I will be posting a lot less.

I don't need some anonymous stranger's corroboration; you do. You feed on small nuggets of attention and you positively blossom at anything that sounds like support or agreement. I have no such needs.

"Have a nice life," you say as a nasty dismissal .. well, I do have a pretty good one, and I daresay it holds a lot more joy and interest than yours does.

See you around, troll, and I hope the remainder of your sad and desperate life is as shabby as it appears.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Back on topic (for everyone else):

Gibbs previewed Obama's speech, after being asked asked whether it was a "mistake" to request the resources to close Guantanamo Bay without a plan.

"It was a mistake to set up something that became a rallying cry for enemies around the world and to hope for so long that we could simply continue to perpetuate the theory of keeping detainees there while the courts ruled otherwise," Gibbs responded.

"I don't doubt that the President -- and I think he'll say this tomorrow -- that we've made some hasty decisions that are now going to take some time to unwind. And closing Guantanamo Bay obviously is one of those decisions," he added.

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Not according to thinman1 (per his 5:20 PM post : )

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Sorry chrisfox8, but you are just as bad as I am.

Posted by: JakeD

==

I have a life, Jake

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Sorry chrisfox8, but you are just as bad as I am.

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

like I said, have a nice life.

==

And being a nuisance in a blog seems to be how yours has ended up. It'd be sort of sad were it not so clear how richly you deserved such turbo-charged tedium

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

SJDD. Same JakeD, different day.

So sad.

Posted by: thinman1 | May 20, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

thinman1:

I simply looked up the last three questions I asked on THIS THREAD where you made your accusation -- again, there's no need to answer my questions if you don't want to -- like I said, have a nice life.

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

At least no one is talking about the thread topic.

Posted by: JakeD

==

At least you admit that your purpose in posting here is to prevent real discussion

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,

Save it. Your careful selection of two questions out of your voluminous daily postings doesn't change my point of view.

I've tangled with you enough to know how you operate. You have your point of view and I have mine. And while I feel bother are equally valid (though I disgree with what you say), the real tragedy is that I don't think you feel the same way about me and my positions or even the positions of anyone here who also disagrees with you.

You've admited in the past, if memory serves, that you are retired in California. That you choose to spend your golden years filling your days spewing invective and hatred is your choice, and serves as an example to me to avoid the same fate.

Posted by: thinman1 | May 20, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

Please let me know if you think my question to you: "Do you have a "link" for Webbie Flanagan's escape?" is LOADED as well.

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

thinman1:

It is kinda sad. YOU claimed that I ask "LOADED" questions (emphasis added). I'm not sure, now, how asking for you to point out where my prior two questions on this very thread are "LOADED" -- or how that simple request could even constitute "obfuscations" -- but I guess no one will ever know how you came to those conclusions. Have a nice life : )

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, your obfuscations won;t work with me. I've tangled enough with you and watched others to the same to know that you will never answer anything, admit anything or do anything short of denying the legitimacy of President Obama. Every word you write seems to me to be torn out of Rush Limbaugh's "I hope he fails" screed.

The problems we face, whether they be terrorism or the economy are just too great and too diofficult that they should be dragged down into the gutter with your endless sniping.

The whole thing is kind of sad.

Posted by: thinman1 | May 20, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

thinman1:

What's LOADED about "You are kidding, right?" or "There are 240 spots open currently at SuperMax prisons?"?!

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Sorry chrisfox8, but you are just as bad as JakeD in this inane exchange.

Posted by: thinman1 | May 20, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

stinky2:

You are kidding, right? A bigger "concern" (if you call it that) would be that patriotic American prisoners take matters into their own hands and dispense some jail-house justice. I would think that any GTMO detainees would be kept in isolation, just like the leaders of the Mexican Mafia, Nuestra Familia, the Black Guerrilla Family, the Aryan Brotherhood, and the Nazi Lowriders who STILL directed outside operations via secret communications from within Pelican Bay's SHU "SuperMax" facility. Read the link I provided, and let me know what you think : )

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

JakeD asks frivolous, loaded and baiting questions and then breaks down in tears when he doesn't get long answers to dismiss with "lol"

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

It's another day and JakeD et al are at it again with the latest episode of "Why-Won't-You-Answer-My-Simple-Loaded-Question?/Do-You-Have-Two-Brain-Cells-to-Rub-Together-to-Read-and-Comprehend-What-I-Wrote?"

Get a life, people.

Posted by: thinman1 | May 20, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

for those saying put them in federal prisons, I agree that they prob won't escape, but that misses a key point -- it is not fair to USA criminals to be put in prison with terrists who want to kill them -- no matter how bad your crime, that does not mean you should have to be incarserated w/ osama bin laden or 1 of his fellow al-qaeda -- many prisoners already have faced advercity in their lives -- they may deserve punishment, but there are limits, even for child molesters, etc.


Posted by: stinky2 | May 20, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

For the rest of you who are willing to answer simple questions and have a civil debate, the outside operations of several prison gangs, such as the Mexican Mafia, Nuestra Familia, the Black Guerrilla Family, the Aryan Brotherhood, and the Nazi Lowriders have all been directed via secret communications from within Pelican Bay's SHU "SuperMax" facility:

==

Yeah they have telepathic powers, right, Jake?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

For the rest of you who are willing to answer simple questions and have a civil debate, the outside operations of several prison gangs, such as the Mexican Mafia, Nuestra Familia, the Black Guerrilla Family, the Aryan Brotherhood, and the Nazi Lowriders have all been directed via secret communications from within Pelican Bay's SHU "SuperMax" facility:

http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v01/n707/a04.html

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

shrink2:

Thanks for the info. See you when you get back : )

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Many of them would be perfectly safe in mental hospitals, but sadly, those are no longer available. So they go from Supermax to the streets, I kid you not. They are being released every day my friend.

My point is that there is a revolving door for all but the worst of the worst and 240 beds is nothing.

I gotta work for a few hours, but learn this:

Risk management is not an issue. The ultimate disposition of the GBay losers is only about politics, about appearances.


Posted by: shrink2 | May 20, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

First, Obama grants CIA agents / doctors "indemnity" over torture prosecutions and switches on release of further "abuse" photos. Now, he's NOT going to close GTMO?! Stephen Colbert is right: Obama has TRANSFORMED into George W. Bush.

LOL!!!

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh, great, shrink2 -- I can't wait to hear which current SuperMax prisoners you think should be released to make way for GTMO detainees -- this should be very interesting.

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I will gladly leave it up to you to determine if these lawyers have "half a brain" or not: http://www.jenner.com/files/tbl_s69NewsDocumentOrder/FileUpload500/196/AmiciCuriae_WashingtonLegalFoundation.pdf

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Gitmo.... Not in my backyard much?

Posted by: deepthroat21 | May 20, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I am willing to listen to anything you have to say, and answer any question you have in a civil manner, just as long as you return the same courtesy to me.

Posted by JakeD

==

Yeah calling another poster a "cock sucking male prostitute" is the very height of civility

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Funny you should ask.
That happens to be an issue nowadays.

They have people in Supermax who have no "business" being there, but these places have fixed operational costs and they need to be full.

The Supermax concept came from the (brief but scary) period when gangs were attacking and breaking people out of prisons. They are impregnable. I have been in two of them and it is an experience that really gets your attention.

Speaking of which, these people, no matter who they are, could not be any more dangerous than the people I see regularly at work. Psychopaths are psychopaths and they will do whatever they can do that defies imaginable horror. You have to realize, they are already all around us. The Gitmo prisoners are pikers, they are amateurs. They are not the brains behind
the threats we face everyday.

The reason the 911 attacks happened is the reason Rwanda happened and Timothy McV. There are so many bad people. You really need a grip on that to realize the Gitmo problem is an artifact of a previous administration's panic attack.

The dance between revelation and realization is hard to watch.*

[*phrasing stolen from a professional writer]

Posted by: shrink2 | May 20, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

jaked wrote: "ACLU and the Cato Institute were indeed ACTIVELY WORKING to free him"

Umm, I believe the ACLU was actively working to ensure that a U.S. citizen would have his habeus rights as guaranteed in the Constitution. The only way that would result in freeing him is if the government had no case against him. It's a complicated distinction, I guess -- if you are an idiot.

I think most U.S. citizens with half a brain do not feel comfortable with the idea that the U.S. government can arrest and hold a U.S. citizen indefinitely without charges and with no appeal to the courts. So I'm not surprised to find jaked arguing the contrary.

Posted by: nodebris | May 20, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

It is becoming painfully clear that this administration and the Democratic Congress have no plan for anything—national defense, the economy, international relations, and even the environment.

The Democrats are now sitting at the grown-ups table, to paraphrase Dennis Miller, but none of them are acting like adults.

Taking charge means also taking responsibility for one's actions, not blaming others.

Posted by: Jerzy | May 20, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

reason5 wrote: "I am available for comment"

You need to go back and read my comment a little more carefully. Hint: I don't ask if reason5 is available for comment.

Posted by: nodebris | May 20, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

jakeyd = the great communicator; how touching. Must be Bill Clinton's soulmate.

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 20, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

shrink2:

There are 240 spots open currently at SuperMax prisons?

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

And, so the reversal begins:

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs admitted that closing the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, was a “hasty decision,” in his daily press briefing with reporters.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/05/20/white_house_closing_gitmo_a_hasty_decision_96593.html

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

No one has escaped from a Supermax prison.
Check out Pelican Bay, for example.

The FBI says the risk of putting these, by now surely, dangerous people there is they will contaminate the General Population with their terrible ideas - again, an absolute laugher.

Salva Maratucha psychopaths might get wicked thoughts about American citizens.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 20, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

thinman1:

I am trying my best to IGNORE those like "chrisfox8". I am willing to listen to anything you have to say, and answer any question you have in a civil manner, just as long as you return the same courtesy to me.

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

shrink2:

Webbie Flanagan escaped from a maximum security facility in Terre Haute FYI.

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"Here's a list of every liberal outfit arguing to release Jose Padilla:"

You're barking up the wrong tree. I don't have an opinion in the Padilla case; its not one I've been following very closely.

I do think that the Justice system usually gets it right. I admit it is frustrating when a criminal gets released on a technicality, but I also think that is a price we pay for living in a free society. There's a reason that our laws presume innocence over guilt - which is that we believe, as a people, that it is far more damaging to our society to incarcerate the innocent than to free the guilty. Our Constitution codifies that, and I still believe it. Yes, sometimes the human beings that run our systems of justice get it wrong. But overall I think we're doing a pretty good job.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 20, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see JakeD and all the others playing their daily battle of Who's d*ck is bigger.

It strikes me that none of you are listening to each other and just trying to tear down the other guy.

I weep for the futur of this country.

Posted by: thinman1 | May 20, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Why shouldn't Padilla be released (to a mental institution)? What's he going to do, take down the Sears Tower with harsh language?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Many US states operate Supermax prisons in which indefinite solitary confinement (which a recent article in The New Yorker qualified as torture, so even Dick Cheney should support the idea!) is common.

Prisons routinely rent cells to other courts and jurisdictions. Clearly anyone brought there from Gitmo would have to have the "court they belong to" established before they moved.

So it could be done with no escape risk, no risk of contaminating the general population with anti-government ideas (though the thought is kind of comical) and no risk of exposing the presumptive terrorists to any other lawyers or judges than those they may encounter in Cuba as the process wears on.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 20, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

"[S]ome of them are bound to get liberal judges who agree" to release them.

Please keep up, idiot.

Posted by: JakeD

==

Having some gooper troll of known dishonesty and known to be emotionally unsound make an assertion in a blog is not the establishment of a fact, troll

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1:

Here's a list of every liberal outfit arguing to release Jose Padilla:

http://www.jenner.com/news/news_item.asp?id=12539624

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"[S]ome of them are bound to get liberal judges who agree" to release them.

Please keep up, idiot.

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

now that we have established that said detainees would be released in the U.

==

Where exactly was this "established?"

Oh, wait, you're lying again. Never mind.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, Padilla was "no threat" to anyone (yet he got 17 years in federal prison).

==

.. for having a big mouth.

In ordinary times, not ruled by hysteria and war fever, Padilla would have gone to mental hospital under no greater security than any other mumblehead.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, Padilla was "no threat" to anyone (yet he got 17 years in federal prison). Expect to hear the same argument if any GTMO detainees are transferred to U.S. courts -- some of them are bound to get liberal judges who agree -- now that we have established that said detainees would be released in the U.S., and the risk that they would maim and kill Americans thereafter, I think Obama probably wants to avoid such political suicide. I expect him to "reluctantly acquiesce" to the majority in Congress ...

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Credit card bill of rights passed. Now up to Obama to sign.

Posted by: DDAWD

==

Watch the goopers pass bricks in their outrage at "government interference in the marketplace," coming down on the side of usurous credit card companies.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, bsimon1. I don't think you are a "crybaby" for refusing to answer my questions first.

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Credit card bill of rights passed. Now up to Obama to sign.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 20, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, then I think that YOUR question is so ridiculous it doesn't rise to a level deserving response as well.

Posted by: JakeD

==

crybaby

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

BTW bsimon1: before 2006 (when GWB pulled a ju-jitsu move and transferred Jose Padilla to a federal jail to face criminal charges) the ACLU and the Cato Institute were indeed ACTIVELY WORKING to free him. You are blind if you think otherwise.

==

Uh, that would be because Padilla was never any threat to anyone, he was just a disgruntled loudmouth.

He never had any material, he never had any plan, AQ wouldn't give him the time of day.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

BTW bsimon1: before 2006 (when GWB pulled a ju-jitsu move and transferred Jose Padilla to a federal jail to face criminal charges) the ACLU and the Cato Institute were indeed ACTIVELY WORKING to free him. You are blind if you think otherwise.

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1:

Well, then I think that YOUR question is so ridiculous it doesn't rise to a level deserving response as well.

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Jake D asks
"bsimon1: Do you think that..."

I think your question is so ridiculous it doesn't rise to a level deserving response.

Then again, the ACLU argued on Limbaugh's behalf regarding the privacy of his medical records, so... who knows?

By the way, has he ever said "thanks" for that work?

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 20, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

Do you have a "link" for Webbie Flanagan's escape?

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the Chicken Little's objection is about escaping (although there are cases of that happening).
==

Link, please.

==
The real concern ranges from allowing them to plan and operate criminal acts -- i.e. gangs order "hits" outside of prison all the time -- to being released early. Thanks for the strawman argument though.

==

I think you watch too much TV, and you're scared of your own shadow.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

What is all this BS about the ACLU coming from the gooper trolls.

Oh, wait, of course, it's a Limbaugh talking point of the day, and all the goops are here to recite it in unison.

I forgot.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

songmaven:

I don't think the Chicken Little's objection is about escaping (although there are cases of that happening). The real concern ranges from allowing them to plan and operate criminal acts -- i.e. gangs order "hits" outside of prison all the time -- to being released early. Thanks for the strawman argument though.

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Attention, all you Chicken Little-like Drama Queen Pols,proudly boasting away that your hometown penal facilities can't hold members of "The Mighty Taliban" or other terrorists groups? Did you fall asleep again watching an episode of "24" and wake up thinking that you heard it on the news?
If we hold some Generic Jihadist to a higher fear standard than our good old USA serial murders, rapists, child molesters and gang bangers, THE TERROISTS WIN!
If you do your frickin' job as a legislator, your state's penal system should protects us all the time, and your court systems shouldn't be prematurely throwing dangerous felons back into society.
Here's an easier solution to wrap your chicken-beaks around -- Let's throw all the prisoners from Gitmo & all the Redneck Crackers from Huntsville together in a pay perview TALIBAMA-BOWL -- Skinheads v Turbins! We can put a timed explosive device in the ball, so at the end of the game only one man leaves -- and he will be too busy appearing on Larry King and his own reality show to harm anyone. Eat your heart out, Jack Bauer!

Posted by: songmaven | May 20, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1:

Do you think that the ACLU will ever get Moussaui, Walker, Abdel-Rahman, or even Padilla RELEASED early? That's the big difference.

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

imprisoned here, freed and allowed to stay here in the USA and ran for office on a liberal platform...he could be elected. Many of them could. I stand by my statements.

==

What's the matter, junior, mom is ignoring your sobbing so you come here for attention? Pretty stupid way to get it

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse


The Borgen Project has some good info on the cost of addressing global poverty.

$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$550 billion: U.S. Defense budget

Posted by: atsegga | May 20, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Nodebris writes:

reason5 wrote: 'Then as these terrorists gain power in the government, they can take over the United State from the inside."

I guess reason1 wasn't available for comment today."

I am available for comment, that's all we need. Futhurmore, if a terrorist was imprisoned here, freed and allowed to stay here in the USA and ran for office on a liberal platform...he could be elected. Many of them could. I stand by my statements.

Posted by: reason5 | May 20, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

drindl, Peter Hoekstra is R-MI, not D-MI. Good point with that little fix.

On the same lines, good point bsimon. It's not as though we don't already have AQ terrorists in prison. And they're hardly the omnipotent super-beings that form the stuff of Republican nightmares.

Even more, I think John Stewart pointed out that we have Americans locked up who like to eat human brains. Think we can't handle a few dozen Arabs? Please. The argument is absurd on its face, even if the (Republican, Bush-appointed) FBI Director (who does not manage prisons) decides to offer the opinion.

Posted by: nodebris | May 20, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"In truth, the United States is more than equipped to handle a few dozen terrorist suspects. Indeed, dozens of dangerous terrorists are already held in American prisons. Inhofe tries to distinguish between those “criminals” and today’s terror detainees, but everyone knows that Timothy McVeigh, the Blind Sheikh, and Zacarias Moussaoui are terrorists. They know that because these men were convicted in U.S. courts and either executed or sentenced to life in prison at the Colorado Supermax.

Supermax isn’t the only place for terrorists or terrorist suspects. The high-security wing of the naval brig in Charleston, SC, confined Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri for more than five years; the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer notes that, “[u]nlike the staff at Abu Ghraib, the brig staff had been trained for the job. Their mission, as they saw it, was to run a safe, professional, and humane prison, regardless of who was held there.”

As the Center for American Progress’ Ken Gude told ThinkProgress, the U.S. has a long tradition of incarcerating terrorists:

The truth is that we have prosecuted and incarcerated some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists in the United States for decades, and doing so has made America safer. Beginning in the Reagan administration, the United States has captured more than a dozen terrorists overseas and brought them to justice in America. These terrorists are guilty of murdering dozens of Americans and more than 500 people worldwide, and include 1993 World Trade Center bombing mastermind Ramzi Yousef, Khalfan Khamis Mohamed of the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings, and Aafia Siddiqui who was captured in Afghanistan in 2008 and is awaiting trial in New York for the attempted murder of U.S. soldiers.

“Thousands of Americans work hard every day in maximum security prisons to keep these and other dangerous convicts safely locked away,” Gude said. Why do conservatives have such little faith in American security officials"

Posted by: drindl | May 20, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The GOP chafes at the idea that these prisoners (the few who are actual terrorists, that is, not the hapless innocents picked up in exchange for cash) should be treated as criminals. The GOP insists that they be elevated to soldier status, which is not only ridiculous but dignifies mere criminals.

Treat them as criminals, hold them in jails, that will be just fine. They will be no more able to break out and commit mayhem than any pickpocket or purse-snatcher.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

While we're on the topic, who are the other terrorists doing time in Federal prisons?

zacaraious moussaui
'american taliban' (John walker?)
The 'blind sheikh' guy (i.e. WTC bomber 1)
some blind sheikh co-conspirators

who else we got? Jose Padilla? Didn't some of the LAX bombers just earn conspiracy convictions?

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 20, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"90 Senators just voted AGAINST moving detainees into the U.S. What's Obama gonna do?"

My guess is he moves forward with his plan to hold trials and, ideally, convict these criminals. Those convicted in Fed Courts, like Zacaraius Moussaui, will presumably serve time in federal prison. What's that, you say? We already have terrorists in custody in Federal Prison? But how could that be? Director Mueller's predicted terrorist attacks haven't materialized! But, but, but he said we'd be attacked if we put terrorists in prison! Surely he's not w... w.. ww.... wrong!?!?

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 20, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

dre7861:

Did you see my question to you?

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

See it's ok for republicans to criticize the CIA, but not Dems. You understand, right?

"This morning, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich went on ABC’s Good Morning America and called on Democrats to pressure Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to resign her position as Speaker. He claimed that she has “disqualified herself” for the leadership spot, because “if I were a person trying to defend this country, I’d have very little confidence that the Speaker of the House had any regard for what we were doing.”

Host Diane Sawyer challenged Gingrich, noting that he never criticized Rep. Peter Hoekstra’s (D-MI) repeated criticism of the agency, including this statement in 2007: “We cannot have an intelligence community that covers up what it does and then lies to Congress.” Gingrich struggled uncomfortably and repeatedly attempted to change the subject:

GINGRICH: Well, in that case, he’s writing a specific letter asking them to change something they were doing. He did not say the CIA routinely lies —

SAWYER: “Lies,” he said —

GINGRICH: — to the Congress.

SAWYER: Well, he says “lies.” He says “what it does and then lies to Congress.”

GINGRICH: And I think they actually had to come back and testify."

Posted by: drindl | May 20, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8:

Who is "obsessed" with whom, again?

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

vbhoomes writes
"I thought your position was we should defer to people in charge(ieGate)because they know more than the rest of us."


You are mistaken. Certainly we should be basing decisions based on credible information. One aspect of credibility is trustworthiness; another is their prior record. FBI Director Mueller - who is, what, the 2nd highest law enforcement official in the US? - has implied we should be concerned about housing terrorists in US prisons because convicted drug lords have been able to run their criminal enterprises from behind bars. If this guy can't keep convicted criminals from running their enterprises from behind bars, do you think he's the right person to run the FBI? Is that a level of competence that you're satisfied with? Or do you start to question his competence, and therefore credibility? Quite frankly, if our prisons are not serving the purpose of keeping the citizenry safe from the criminals incarcerated therein, its cause for more than a little concern, isn't it? I'm a bit surprised that Director Mueller admits such a failure so casually.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 20, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

What's the matter, Jake, feeling ignored without an audience?

Maybe you could find somewhere else to surf.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"People moving away from the GOP include those who attend church nearly weekly or monthly, Midwesterners, Southerners, married people, moderates, college graduates, and nongraduates."

And the college grads are leaving in droves. Perhaps that's why the Republicans are so bereft of good policy ideas or even a cogent political strategy. They just don't have the brainpower. The typical Republican is jaked now.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 20, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

They just keep getting sillier and more pointless, not to mention childish:

"Members of the Republican National Committee appear to have reached a compromise that would let GOP leaders avoid a possible dispute over a controversial resolution that calls on Democrats to re-name their party the “Democrat Socialist party.”

Steele has come out against the resolution, calling it “not an appropriate way to express our views on the issues of the day.” One of Steele’s allies on the committee, Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer, told CNN the resolution is “stupid” and “ridiculous.”

However, New Jersey committeeman David Norcross, one of the sponsors of the resolution, told CNN the language is being massaged so that Steele and others on the committee will be more receptive."

Generally, when parties are out of party they do some soul-searching, and look inward and try to figure out who they are and what they believe in. Imagine if the Democrats had spent 2001-2006 arguing over what silly thing they should rename the Republicans. I just have no idea what these guys are thinking, what they think this will accomplish. It really does look like the only guiding principle they have is that anything that insults or pisses off Democrats must be good.

I don’t get it. I’d really like one of them to state what they think this would accomplish."

Posted by: drindl | May 20, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Is bsimon1 gone again?

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Just goes to show all that bluster and tough macho talk is a cover for total bedwetting wussiness.

==

I think the idea that America has really powerful enemies makes them feel important. All grim an' square-jawed an' stuff.

(wriggle wriggle)

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Mueller is useless. He's like the whole republican party -- they're terrified the entire force and might of the american military and prison system can't contain a few primitive tribespeople.

Just goes to show all that bluster and tough macho talk is a cover for total bedwetting wussiness.

Posted by: drindl | May 20, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Today, Rush Limbaugh resigned as the titular head of the GOP, in favor of Gen. Colin Powell. LOL!!!

Posted by: JakeD

==

Actually the real head of the RNC doesn't appear to be measuring up, he's kind of confused between congressional politics and the celebrity press:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/19/AR2009051902839.html?hpid=opinionsbox1&sid=ST2009051902879

"As state party chairmen gather this week in Maryland, a new Gallup analysis shows that since 2001, fewer people in all but one demographic (those who attend church weekly) have been identifying themselves as Republican.

People moving away from the GOP include those who attend church nearly weekly or monthly, Midwesterners, Southerners, married people, moderates, college graduates, and nongraduates.

The findings confirm growing disenchantment with a party that is viewed as belonging primarily to older white men, despite the GOP's having selected a hip-hop-friendly African American to lead it.

Whatever the thinking is, it isn't working"

==

ouch ...

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Today, Rush Limbaugh resigned as the titular head of the GOP, in favor of Gen. Colin Powell. LOL!!!

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Michael Vick could start a holding and training compound for the Gitmo detainees.

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 20, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1:

90 Senators just voted AGAINST moving detainees into the U.S. What's Obama gonna do?

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Got it, jaked. You tremble before the might of the omnipotent ACLU, when you aren't trembling before the super-human abilities of illiterate tribesman from central asia, or quaking at the prospect that muslim socialists are taking over the presidency.

Home of the Free? Land of the Brave? Used to be. Not so clear any more. Looks like the GOP succeeded in their eight-year mission of turning Americans into a mass of quivering little girls.

Posted by: nodebris | May 20, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Let's see .. we have Charles Manson in prison, we have the Unabomber, we have that American Taliban idiot .. none of these people have the remotest chance of escaping from our prisons. Yet somehow the GOP bedwetters are soiling themselves with fear that a few people picked up off the streets in exchange for bounty are going to be able to escape and, before recaptured, get hold of the means to set of a nuclear suitcase bomb.

I swear to God these GOP nitwits should be delivered to mental hospitals and dosed to comas with happy pills so they will just shut the hell up. If they're so damned frightened of shadows they need to be restrained from public discourse.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I am assuming that the ACLU will secure the release of some detainees once they are here. That is, in fact, the central argument AGAINST bringing them here.

Posted by: JakeD

==

Why do you always post this cartoonishly absurd crap? What would the ACLU have to do with releasing terrorists into the US? They wouldn't even have student visas fer Chris'sake. You're demented and foolish.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"Where the issue goes from here depends largely on which side wins the perception game."

If you're correct, then that's the most pathetic means of governing I can imagine. However, I think you are incorrect - I think the White House is going to push this through despite the bellows of the electorally vanquished.

We LITTERALLY bought this issue with the bounties we paid for largely innocent people who we then imprisoned for YEARS without due process, and now cowards want to throw those people away for good because they don't think our own super-max prisons [where we only send people AFTER due process, because that’s what Americans do with human beings, right?!?] are good enough.

Man up, America. When we break a window, we admit it, and then make it whole. Or is that just for our children?

Posted by: mobedda | May 20, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

bsimon:

I am assuming that the ACLU will secure the release of some detainees once they are here. That is, in fact, the central argument AGAINST bringing them here.

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

BSIMON, I thought your position was we should defer to people in charge(ieGate)because they know more than the rest of us. For Gods sake, lets be constitent.

Posted by: vbhoomes | May 20, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

dre7861 writes
"This silly notion that if we close Gitmo and transferred the prisoners into our system then we would have Terrorists roaming freely in the country is a false boogeyman invented by the GOP."

Their rebuttal is that FBI director Mueller made the claim in a hearing today. Quite frankly, it makes me wonder at the suitability of Director Mueller for the office, if he, as he stated in the hearing, is unable to keep prisoners from running criminal enterprises from behind bars.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 20, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

dre7861:

I'm not so concerned about escapes, but I have to assume there are not a league of ACLU lawyers trying to get your attacker released?

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

JakeD writes
"Too bad Judge Bates ruled GTMO detainees can be held indefinitely."


But the ruling may not say exactly what he thinks it says. From the Washington Post:

"Last night, a federal judge ruled that the United States can continue to hold some Guantanamo prisoners indefinitely without charges, but he limited the categories of those who can be held. The ruling by U.S. District Judge John Bates backed the Obama administration's position that the president can detain persons who he determines "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as well as "persons who harbored those responsible for those attacks." But Bates ruled that the government could not indefinitely hold those who "supported" enemy forces."

So not all detainees can be held indefinitely, only those who planned the 2001 attacks on the US or harbored those persons.

Sometimes it pays to read past the headlines.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 20, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Speaking as a victim of a violent crime I can assure everyone reading this that there are extremely few nights where I worry about the perp escaping from prison where he is serving 225+ years with no chance of parole just down the road in Virginia. Needless to say that this is an extremely violent person to rack up 225+ years sentence. Being as I am the only one of his victims that was able to ID him I would imagine I am not his most favorite person in the entire world. That said I do not worry at night that he might be on the loose instead of behind bars because I trust our penal system to ensure that he will stay incarcerated for the rest of his life.

This silly notion that if we close Gitmo and transferred the prisoners into our system then we would have Terrorists roaming freely in the country is a false boogeyman invented by the GOP. The Gitmo prisoners would be transfered directly into our prison system and they won't be going on a weekend furlough of terrorist planning. Our prison system has tons of extremely violent individuals locked within it and there are few people who worry day to day about any of the murderers, rapists and sadists that reside within escaping. If I can sleep peacefully at night then I think the rest of America can with the Gitmo prisoners within our prison system.

Posted by: dre7861 | May 20, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey - maybe we should allow the terrorists and illegal immigrants in and give them a driver's license. Then we could charge a fee, demand they have insurance for their behavior, learn their mother's maiden name, learn the name of the street where they grew up, and learn the name of their favorite pet. ..........

http://thefiresidepost.com/2009/05/20/real-ids-why-are-we-frustrated-with-government/

Posted by: glclark4750 | May 20, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Judge Bates ruled GTMO detainees can be held indefinitely.

==

Too bad that the GOP doesn't have enough support left to be any more than a nuisance.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Too bad Judge Bates ruled GTMO detainees can be held indefinitely.

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

If we are going to totally cave to our bedwetting fears about national security, I think we should lock up all of the rest of the world. Obviously, it would make us safer. Just get it over with. No one can be trusted. Look at Afghanis using weapons we gave them to shoot at us. Torture everybody else, too. Somebody knows something. Make them talk. Oh, if they are to be locked away forever, why not just exterminate them? Cheaper that way.

Posted by: SarahBB | May 20, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

The FBI Chief just testified before Congress that

having GITMO terrorists in US prisons could aid further terrorist attacks. This argument is effectively over. Obama will have to reverse himself, or being risked run out of town for delection of duty. With the screaming dems right behind him.

Posted by: vbhoomes

==

Yeah the "terrorists" will put together a suitcase nuke from stuff they find laying around in prison.

Go back to sleep.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

The FBI Chief just testified before Congress that having GITMO terrorists in US prisons could aid further terrorist attacks. This argument is effectively over. Obama will have to reverse himself, or being risked run out of town for delection of duty. With the screaming dems right behind him.

Posted by: vbhoomes | May 20, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Remember, these people are trained Al-Queda fighters trained to survive in the worst of conditions and kill anyone in their path.

==

You watch too much TV.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Well, this is what you libs all voted for, isn't it?

Posted by JakeD, who plagiarizes others' writing because he is too feeble-minded to form a coherent argument

==

You nincompoops crack me up with that "lib" stuff.

Anyway it wasn't just "libs" in NYC and SF who voted for Obama, it was the majority of independents (that is, party-unaffiliated voters, not members of your silly AIP with as many members as a small city's Classic Chevy club), it was a lot of Democrats, and a hell of a lot of Republicans too who couldn't bring themselves to put Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency.

And yes, Jake ol' incontinent one, that is exactly what we voted for: the rule of law. Enjoy life on the fringes, pressing your oily old nose to the glass and watching the adults do government.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

The GOP posters seem to have electively forgotten that most of the prisoner in question had nothing to do with 9/11 or insurgency, but were just people picked up by bounty hunters in exchange for the cash being handed out by our ham-handed occupation force.

"We'll give you $5000 cash for each 'terrorist' you deliver to us, and we'll take your word for it."

The suggestion that any of them would simply be release to "neighborhoods" is ridiculous, the kind of hysterical thinking that now prevails among the 21-percenter trash.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 20, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Somebody help me out here – did Bush-Cheney so weaken the Bureau of Prisons that they can't keep someone secured? I mean, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – what about all the mass murderers we manage to lock away without fear of their escape?

Posted by: FlownOver | May 20, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

reason5 wrote: 'Then as these terrorists gain power in the government, they can take over the United State from the inside."

I guess reason1 wasn't available for comment today.

Posted by: nodebris | May 20, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

What kills me is how proud the GOP is of being so cowardly. "Oooh, there might be scary people in our prisons! They might escape! Arabs! With claws and fangs this big!"

When did they paint the red states yellow?

For Reid to endorse their position, in my mind, disqualifies him for a leadership role. I would have voted Republican if I wanted a cowering incoherent Republican senate majority leader.

Posted by: nodebris | May 20, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

GITMO should simply be left open. Closing this facility forces us to move foreign & dangerous terrorists long distances, and possibly to the USA. This is simply a stupid move to appease those on the far left. If we have these people in federal prisons, we will likely have the terrorists trying to escape and kill whoever they can. Remember, these people are trained Al-Queda fighters trained to survive in the worst of conditions and kill anyone in their path. If these people escape from our prisons or get out of prison and are allowed to live here, the United States will be turned into a terror zone just like the state of Israel. Mark my words, if these people serve time in prison and are released WE WILL NOT RETURN THEM TO WHERE THEY ARE FROM. We, instead, will have pity on them. The government will say that we can't return them to their mother nations because those nations are poor & impoverished. They then will be allowed to stay here in the United States. At this point, the terrorist organizations will then divert their attention to fighting Israel militarily and putting their money to fighting America both militarily and politically. It would be easy for terrorists to do this. They have the money to self finance. All they have to do in the election is say they are from a horrible place, was forced by poverty to fight as terrorists against the USA, repent for doing this and now believe in freedom of religion, support abortion, gay marriage, high taxes & government welfare. At this point, they would be very electable to the left. Then as these terrorists gain power in the government, they can take over the United State from the inside. Is anyone else concerned about these developments at all? Obama may mean well with this. I forsee a horrible string of developments if we take this course of action. Does anyone else see these issues?

On another note, Iran says today they have tested a missle with a range of 1,200 miles. That travels far enough to reach Israel, southeastern Europe & US bases in the Middle East. This puts Israel, parts of Europe & our service men & women in grave danger. If Obama is gonna deal with Iran through diplomacy, he had better get to doing some fast talking. If that doesn't work, I believe Israel is smart enough to take some swift action. I really think Obama will find these talks to be useless as Iran will continually move forward with objectives against our interest.

Posted by: reason5 | May 20, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

You're right, charlesmartel, I wouldn't want any of them sharing a bedroom with my children. But who is proposing that? No one.

I wouldn't mind a bit if a few terrorists were housed in the prison a few miles south of my home. Our prisons have housed terrorists, serial killers and various other madmen for years. I trust our prison wardens and prison guards to keep them in prison.

Posted by: lrsigman | May 20, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

You're right, charlesmartel, I wouldn't want any of them sharing a bedroom with my children. But who is proposing that? No one.

I wouldn't mind a bit if a few terrorists were housed in the prison a few miles south of my home. Our prisons have housed terrorists, serial killers and various other madmen for years. I trust our prison wardens and prison guards to keep them in prison.

Posted by: lrsigman | May 20, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Obama promised before he had a plan. It really is that simple. Perhaps he envisioned other countries stepping up and taking these prisoners. And they would do that why??????? If they are that safe to let out, why not here in the US? We all know that answer. Our president doesn't really know what released prisoners will do or won't. If he let's them out on the streets of the US and financially supports them, he will feel the wrath of most citizens. If any of these released prisoners do anything to jeopardize our security you will see the end of democrat control.

Posted by: jkachmar | May 20, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Republicans are cowards. Unfortunately Senate Democrats are no better. If a max security prison can house a rapist or a murderer, why not a terrorist. Or, since we seem to have captured very few real terrorists, a cab driver who we tortured until he "admitted" he was a terrorist. Again the GOP plays politics with our safety and reporters like the Fix enable them.

Posted by: havok26 | May 20, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

JakeD: it wasn't just "Libs" who voted for President Obama, it was independents, and Republicans,too. 200,000 GOPers in Penn. switched parties. And therein lies the problem for the GOP, too often the response to such mass party switch has been "well, good riddance", instead of retrospection to figure out why.

Posted by: katem1 | May 20, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

DOMESTIC TORTURE -- ENABLED BY A FEDERALLY-FUNDED GRASSROOTS VIGILANTE ARMY -- MAKES GITMO LOOK LIKE DETENTION HALL


• Bush-Cheney "extrajudicial punishment matrix" continues to persecute many thousands of "innocent but targeted" U.S. citizens nationwide...

...a security/military/intel multi-agency coordinated action "hiding in plain sight"...

... As the mainstream media is conveniently distracted by Gitmo "psy ops."

Read the article linked below and please, wake up.

American democracy is being stolen at the grassroots, enabled by ideologically-driven bureaucrats who are subverting the rule of law...

...deploying mind- and body-degrading microwave radiation "directed energy weapons" to neutralize "dissenters" and "undesirables" in the name of "keeping America safe."

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OF (if links are corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 20, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I think I was saying..
Wherever they picked them up.. doesn't want them back..

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 20, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Thankfully commonsense prevailed. Obama admitted that most of the Guantanamo prisoners are dangerous terrorists. Two such prisoners released have subsequently carried out suicide bombings. Maybe the far left who insists on moving terrorists ashore wants to put up one of them to sleep in the same bedroom as their kids. Oh wait....no takers?

Posted by: charlesmartel_nz | May 20, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

bsimon1, thanks for that info. Funny how the Fix missed it. T-Paw must not be running for gov again if he thinks totally ignoring the legislature over the budget is a good idea. So the GOP gov. is shafting the statehouse, and the GOP senate candidate is stalling the Fed senate. Yeah, I'm sure the voters of Minn are just thrilled with their GOP politicians. Pawlenty should read Parker's column today.

Posted by: katem1 | May 20, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"Just tell us where you live.. we can release the Gitmo choir boys in your neighborhood."

This argument falls flat on its face with even the most cursory examination. I don't know anyone who is arguing all these detainees be "dropped off" in anyone's "neighborhood."

You prosecute and convict the guilty, and return the not-guilty to the places where they were taken from. If any Gitmo detainees were picked up in Leesburg, VA, I have no problem with them beign returned there.

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 20, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the torture debacle, here is what I think the president and Congress should do:

President Obama should issue a blanket pardon to all those involved in "enhanced interrogation techniques." That would include CIA, military, civilians, etc.

Then, Congress should have a thorough investigation, either via a 9/11-type commission or through hearings, or both. Without fear of criminal prosecution (in the U.S. anyway), those involved would have to testify and could not shield themselves with a Fifth Amendment plea.

It's not the perfect solution, because folks like Cheney, Rumsfeld, Addington, Yoo, and Feith would be let off the hook, but in theory at least, we could get to the bottom of this sordid little chapter in American history and then move on.

Posted by: Bondosan | May 20, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Just tell us where you live.. we can release the Gitmo choir boys in your neighborhood.

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 20, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

"Harry Reid says Ted Kennedy will return to the Senate."


If Sen Reid says Kennedy is coming back, Gov Patrick better start working on his shortlist.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 20, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

If you "don't have enough[or any, ed.] evidence to prosecute," then why can't you let them go?

If you do have enough evidence, then they should be put on trial.

There's no reason to hold these people in legal limbo indefinitely. Convict the guilty and release the not-guilty, it's not that complicated.

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 20, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes writes
"There is simply no reason to close GITMO."

Unless you respect the rule of law.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 20, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

"Speaking of Minnesota Senate...Kaine Ups Pawlenty Pressure"


Pawlenty is feeling it from many directions these days. I'd hazard a guess that the Coleman-Franken case isn't on top of his mind at the moment. Why not? The MN legislative session ended yesterday at a budget impasse. The Governor vetoed the spending bill passed by the Lege, leaving the state without a budget for the biennium beginning on July 1. Gov Pawlenty has promised to not call a special session & instead will use a line item veto and a process known as 'unallotment' to decide himself which programs to fund & which to cut. Having stuck to his guns on 'no new taxes,' he now bears the full burden of deciding which ways government should be made smaller. Because the 'unallotment' process hasn't been used in quite this way before, Pawlenty faces likely legal challenges of his own. So, suffice to say, he's got a lot on his plate.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 20, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Glad to know that vbh.

I fear death merchants as much as I fear any other politician.

The Jihadists are a death cult. ObL was not joking when he said his followers wanted to die as much as Americans want to live.

In psychiatry (I work with the criminally insane, among others) there is a force we call "projective identification". The phrase is a mouthful, but it is real and powerful dance that exists between perpetrators and victims.

Pacifists are fools, but we have to find a way to crush death cults without joining them.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 20, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Congress doesn't get it. The President's plan is to put the Gitmo detainees on trial & incarcerate the guilty in a legal fashion. As these trials progress, there won't be anyone left at Gitmo. The GOP & spineless Dems are too scared to close an empty prison.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 20, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes, I see your point. I was assuming the mil tribunals would have completed their work, first.

Probably the Prez will adopt McC's position if they have not finished the tribunal cases.

In any event we do not have to let them free on our soil. They can be deported back to their home countries. They may not like that, either, but that's what we do with POWs.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 20, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Shut the Gitmo place. Support our President.
wgm

Posted by: bjmptcruisergmailcom | May 20, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Mark, there is one very big problem, bringing GITMO terrorist to the USA will give them access to the Federal Courts. We can let them go and we do not have enough evidence to prosecute them. We spent millions getting GITMO ready for Militart Tribunals, other than left wing proganda, there is no justification for closing GITMO. Shrink2: I do not want another terrorist attack on this country. But we will have one, if Nancy Pelosi and left wing dems do not start taking our security more serious. I was happy to see Obama change his mind about the Detention photos. Hopefully he will realize closing GITMO was a rookie mistake and will so reverse himself.

Posted by: vbhoomes | May 20, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Having written about Fed prisons, I must add that I knew an escapee. Webbie Flanagan was a disreputable Austin lawyer who was convicted of tax evasion, and in a fit of pique by the US Attorney [that turned out to be justified] did not end up in a white collar minsecurity facility. He was sent to Terre Haute, a max that then was the retirement center for bank robbers. Webbie got himself a clerical job because of his typing and writing skills. Then he wrote his own transfer to an open gate facility. Then he went to Mexico, I think, but was finally re-arrested.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 20, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Sick "conservatives" as as desperate for another terror attack as any cave dwelling jihadi. We've come to see the resurgence of Republicans as a political force now depends on the success of terrorists.

Kinda leaves you shaking your head in wonder.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 20, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Hi bhoomes -

Federal Prisons are rated by their security profiles.

http://www.bop.gov/locations/institutions/index.jsp

We have two high security Untied States Penitentiaries, in TX, at Beaumont.and at Big Sandy.

There are 21 in the United States, including the ADMAX. They generally house 1000-1500 very hard core bad guys.

http://www.bop.gov/DataSource/execute/dsFacilityLoc

Divide the detainees among the 21 high security USPs, 10-15 per prison. Escape will not be a concern.
There will be voices concerned about the safety of the detainees at some point. Guess we cannot please everyone.


Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 20, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Another self-inflicted wound by the dems on national security. There is simply no reason to close GITMO. The republicans have correctly laid the gound work on reminding americans how dems play loose with our security. If there is another major terrorist attack in the USA, the democratic party will sent into oblivioun for at least the next two decades.

Posted by: vbhoomes | May 20, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

JakeD, as announced in April it was exactly the same decision that I would have made under similar circumstances.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 20, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Is Jake D kingofzouk? I wouldn't be surprised.

"Republicans have used the Gitmo closure as evidence that Obama is not fundamentally serious about the defense of the homeland."

What absolute rubbish. Where do they come up with this crap?

And please, CC -- do not use this propagandistic term, 'the homeland". That was made up by Karl Rove right after 9/11, straight out of his Nazi father's playbook, from the Goebbels term, the 'Fatherland.'

It is used to incite jingoistic nationalism and I find it offensive.

Posted by: drindl | May 20, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

What did you think about Obama's decision to not prosecute CIA agents / doctors for torture?

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

GWB had a "stellar record on decisiveness" too ; )

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

ProudToBeGOP, who used to post here, suggested in 2008 a gulag in ND where the detainees would make wind generator blades instead of license plates, thus permitting us more leverage in the battle for energy independence. Just sayin'...

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 20, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

jrosco3:

How do you feel about bringing back military tribunals and not releasing "abuse" photos?

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

On March 27, 2009, Pres Obama said this as quoted on the White House blog sheet: "Good morning," began the President today. "Today, I am announcing a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. And this marks the conclusion of a careful policy review, led by Bruce [Reidel], that I ordered as soon as I took office."

As soon as he took office, Pres Obama also announced his intention to close Gitmo but did not announce his plan for placement of the detainees; Sen McCain chipped at him on this point. The administration knew this issue would open the door for the Republicans if a plan wasn't forthcoming in a timely way.

This delay in a plan is beginning to seriously damage the President's otherwise stellar record on decisiveness -- it looks terrible that he can lay out a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan two months after the inauguration, but four months after the inauguration he still hasn't laid out his plan for closure of Gitmo.

I suspect the president will speed up this process and make an announcement soon!

Posted by: jrosco3 | May 20, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Well, this is what you libs all voted for, isn't it?

Posted by: JakeD | May 20, 2009 6:41 AM | Report abuse

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