Obama Broken Promises, A Continuing Series

crying-jackass

During the campaign Obama was adamant that he would close the terrorist holding facility at Guantanamo.

Now, well he says he will still close it, but it won’t be done quickly.

“President-elect Barack Obama said this weekend that he does not expect to close Guantanamo Bay in his first 100 days in office. “I think it’s going to take some time and our legal teams are working in consultation with our national security apparatus as we speak to help design exactly what we need to do,” Obama said in an exclusive “This Week” interview with George Stephanopoulos, his first since arriving in Washington.

“It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize,” the President-elect explained. “Part of the challenge that you have is that you have a bunch of folks that have been detained, many of whom who may be very dangerous who have not been put on trial or have not gone through some adjudication. And some of the evidence against them may be tainted even though it’s true. And so how to balance creating a process that adheres to rule of law, habeas corpus, basic principles of Anglo American legal system, by doing it in a way that doesn’t result in releasing people who are intent on blowing us up.

Following this statement Obama received quite a bit of criticism on left of center blogs.  To quiet the criticism it was leaked on Monday that one of the first executive orders issued by the new administration would be one to close Guantanamo.  Some on the Left are suspicious as to whether Guantanamo will really be closed.

They are right to be suspicious.  If Guantanamo is closed I will be shocked.  Unless Obama can get the home governments of all the detainees to take them, which he can’t, he is going to encounter incredible political resistance in the states where he would attempt to transfer them from Guantanamo.  All it will take is one hostage situation, or one terrorist attack on the continental US, and Obama could be in political hot water.  I imagine Obama is also pondering this factoid:  61 of the detainees released, 11% of the total released from Guantanamo, have since their release been involved in terrorist activities.  If Obama does a mass release from Guantanamo, one can imagine what the numbers might be in the years to come.   Message to Obama supporters:  your guy will not take political heat for anyone, and especially not for people gullible enough to swallow this particular campaign promise, which he is backtracking on even before he is sworn in.

Advertisements

21 Responses to Obama Broken Promises, A Continuing Series

  1. Gerard E. says:

    Thus hope that he will not inflict abominations such as FOCA on the republic. Clear that in his Chicago political schooling, our man learned to slip and slide with the best of them. Still believe there is much of the hardcore ideologue within him. But not on display early. And the longer he delays, say, FOCA or Fairness Doctrine, the less likely they will become reality. Still, stay on watch, for these and other chicaneries.

  2. Ryan Harkins says:

    I think Obama is finding out the hard way the difference between idealism and practicality. Pundits are easily given to idealism, because they don’t have to work out the nitpicky details themselves, and thus don’t really know the full extent of the problem. Senators, though they do deal with details, can still adhere to practicality because they can always cop out with the “I didn’t realize the full extent of what I was voting for” or the “Sure I voted for it, but that was to please my constituents, and I didn’t think it would pass.” As president, Obama is going to have to deal with the fact that, even if he doesn’t like the buck stopping with him, all the fingers will be pointing in his direction. I think he’s going to learn that you either cave to public opinion and idealism and be a weak president like Clinton, or you have to grit your teeth, suffer low approval ratings, and do things that actually work (or at leas that you think will work).

  3. Mark DeFrancisis says:

    Years of disaster are difficult to clean up overnight.

  4. Mark DeFrancisis says:

    It is sad to see a Catholic man gleeful that Gitmo won’t close soon…

    We can at least be sure that Obama-Biden will not open another facility like this one…

  5. Mark DeFrancisis says:

    From today’s New York Times:

    The senior Pentagon official in the Bush administration’s system for prosecuting detainees said in a published interview that she had concluded that interrogators had tortured a Guantánamo detainee who has sometimes been described as “the 20th hijacker” in the 2001 terrorist attacks.

    The public record of the Guantánamo interrogation of the detainee, Mohammed al-Qahtani, has long included what officials labeled abusive techniques, including exposure to extreme temperatures and isolation, but the Pentagon has resisted acknowledging that his treatment rose to the level of torture.

    But the official, Susan J. Crawford, told Bob Woodward of The Washington Post that she had concluded that his treatment amounted to torture when she reviewed military charges against him last year. In May she decided that the case could not be referred for trial but provided no explanation at the time.

    The main conflict of this story is:
    “There’s no doubt in my mind he would’ve been on one of those planes had he gained access to the country in August 2001,” Ms. Crawford said in the interview. “He’s a muscle hijacker.”
    She added: “He’s a very dangerous man. What do you do with him now if you don’t charge him and try him? I would be hesitant to say, ‘Let him go.’ ”

    So they can’t just “Let him go” and because of the confirmed torture they can’t try him.

    Tell me again why torture is such a good idea? It doesn’t bring in any useful info, it taints future prosecutions and demolishes any claim to any sort of “moral high ground.”

  6. Ryan Harkins says:

    Tell me again why torture is such a good idea? It doesn’t bring in any useful info, it taints future prosecutions and demolishes any claim to any sort of “moral high ground.”

    All too true, though I would hesitate to say that Donald is ‘gleeful’ about Gitmo remaining open. Looking at what promises are broken doesn’t necessarily mean that the broken promise is a good thing from either a liberal or conservative or Catholic perspective. Personally, I don’t think Gitmo should be closed, but I do believe some extensive reform is needed. The harsh interrogative methods need to go. The information extracted from prisoners is not worth the tainting of one’s soul. Certainly I feel these prisoners should be detained, at least until our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are over, but we can handle them much more humanely.

    A question, Mark: do you think subjecting Gitmo prisoners to endless hours of Gregorian Chant (time off at bedtime so they can sleep), and the occasional rosary (perhaps dictated by Mother Angelica) over loudspeakers would constitute to torture?

  7. Donald R. McClarey says:

    My preferred policy in regard to terrorists would be the same as traditionally was accorded pirates: swift trials followed by swift executions. The same policy followed by the papacy until the dissolution of the papal states in 1870.

    As Obama is finding out, despite what the hard core of his supporters believe, the terrorist threat is real. Almost all Americans understood this after 9-11. After the next 9-11 all Americans will understand it again.

  8. Phillip says:

    “A question, Mark: do you think subjecting Gitmo prisoners to endless hours of Gregorian Chant (time off at bedtime so they can sleep), and the occasional rosary (perhaps dictated by Mother Angelica) over loudspeakers would constitute to torture?”

    I think given that it would be psychologically painful for a Muslim many would say so.

  9. Mark DeFrancisis says:

    No, Donald, it is not an issue over the reality of the terror threat. Everybody realizes that. But some–and sadly some lawyers–have stepped towards hysteria in their response to such a threat.

    Obama has just found out that the legal and poltical mess Bush made is closer to irreparable than he may have thought.

    And you seem to assume that all that were/are at Gitmo are actually terrorists…

  10. “And you seem to assume that all that were/are at Gitmo are actually terrorists…”

    Well, I’d say that apparently the government assumed that 61 were not terrorists who actually were, at least judging by their actions post release. A terrorist, like the pirates of old, puts himself outside of the framework of cpnventional warfare by his actions. He should be treated accordingly. In regard to torture I am against, and have always been against, physical torture. I suspect that the Obama administration may not share my scruples after the next 9-11. There is precious little “voting present” in the Oval Office, as Obama is learning, and the American people will show little patience in regard to any politician who does not keep us safe from terrorist attack.

  11. Mark DeFrancisis says:

    Donald,

    Mistakes over release of certain prisoners do not justify wrongful detainment of others.

    It is heartening to see your staunch oppositiom to torture.

    Sad to realize, though, that you still hold an to capital punishment as a legal remedy, especially since countries like ours have the institutional means to sufficiently isolate any criminal dor its self-defense.

  12. “Sad to realize, though, that you still hold an to capital punishment as a legal remedy, especially since countries like ours have the institutional means to sufficiently isolate any criminal dor its self-defense.”

    I would venture to guess Mr. DeFrancisis that you have never worked as a guard in a prison or served a stretch as an inmate in a prison. If you had I doubt you would have made that statement. In my county I have represented numerous guards and felons over the years and they all have expressed concern for their personal safety. On one day in my county which has two prisons, three guards were murdered by inmates. Life imprisonment does not render a murderer harmless. Until John Paul II the teaching of the Church on capital punishment was quite clear, and the Church was not against it.

    “Mistakes over release of certain prisoners do not justify wrongful detainment of others.”

    That begs the question Mr. DeFrancisis. In a war a detainee, as opposed to a criminal held for an alleged violation of the law, has the burden of establishing why he should be released. In a not insignificant fraction of the cases of the detainees released from Guantanamo we have clear evidence that the government was releasing detainees who were quite willing to carry on their war against the US. That concerns me a very great deal, just as I bet it now concerns Obama. Hence his go slow attitude.

  13. Mark DeFrancisis says:

    Mr. McClarey,

    Christ’s image still shines, however obscurely, in the hardest of criminals. In my country, I have worked with numerous priests who have done prison ministry with the ‘worst’ of criminals, including capital offenders, and these priestd embrace JPIIs Gospel of Life and the developments re: capital punishment as set forth in the recent Universal Catechism.

    I can, nevertheless, empathize with your position.

  14. Anthony Rowe says:

    Im glad gitmo will stay open a little longer, we still need a place to put the bad guys.

  15. We are in agreement Mr. DeFrancisis that even the most evil criminal can find redemption in Christ. That of course does not have anything to do with the penalty to be paid for crimes, or whether a life imprisonment sentence ensures the safety of those who will come in contact with the convicted murderer. Capital punishment has never moved me as an issue as does abortion. If the people of a state want or do not want capital punishment is of little moment for me. However proponents should admit that there is always a possibility of an innocent man being executed and opponents should admit that life imprisonment is no panacea in preventing a convicted murderer from murdering again.

  16. Phillip says:

    I think where a prisoner continues to murder in prison might be a case where the death penalty would be licit.

  17. It is sad to see a Catholic man gleeful that Gitmo won’t close soon…

    Sad, yes. Surprising, considering it appeared on this blog? Not at all.

  18. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Catholic Anarchist, your comment is as unsurpising as your vote for the pro-abort Obama. I think his adherence to open season on the unborn will be one of the few promises he will keep during his term in office.

  19. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Probably something to do with my Eric McFadden post I hope.

  20. Probably something to do with my Eric McFadden post I hope.

    I could care less about the guy.

%d bloggers like this: