John Bolton

John Bolton

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Two Years After Obama Signed Order to Close Gitmo, Terrorist Prison Still Open

Question: Why did the outrage over Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility die out?
Answer: The current President is a Democrat!

Readers will recall the heady first days of the Obama Administration. Hope and Change had finally arrived in DC. Now, things would be better and the dark stain on our nation caused by Bush era policies would be removed. And pigs would also learn to fly!

In one of his very first acts as President, Barack Obama, in a ceremony where he was surrounded by retired military leaders, signed the Executive Order which decreed that the prison for terrorists in Cuba would be closed within one year.

Democrats hooted from the rooftops. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) described the event this way:
“Today is a great day for the rule of law in the United States of America,” adding: “America is ready to lead again — not just with our words, but by our example.” --Sen. John F. Kerry January 22, 2009
Writer Sam Stein at the Huffington Post gushed:
The move will be greeted with widespread approval around the world, the end of a blotch on America's image abroad. Coming in the form of an executive order, it carries with it the power of law.
But even over the top left wing wordsmiths couldn't hold a candle to Obama's own statement about the order. He was still in campaign mode. Here's how CNN reported it:

Promising to return America to the "moral high ground" in the war on terrorism, President Obama issued three executive orders Thursday to demonstrate a clean break from the Bush administration, including one requiring that the Guantanamo Bay detention facility be closed within a year.

During a signing ceremony at the White House, Obama reaffirmed his inauguration pledge that the United States does not have "to continue with a false choice between our safety and our ideals."

The president said he was issuing the order to close the facility in order to "restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great even in the midst of war, even in dealing with terrorism."
The signed order was posted on the bulletin board at the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention facility to give the prisoners hope:


Yet, two years later, Obama's order had this effect on the prisoners as reported by one of the lawyers for the prisoners:
The pronouncement that Guantanamo would close has become broken glass on the pathway of the prisoners.
Odd, but I wouldn't think "broken glass on the pathway of the prisoners" would be much of an impediment to terrorists; many of whom return to violent jihad the moment they are released.

Any further attempt to close the facility has been stymied by Obama's signature on the major defense bill pushed through the lame duck Congress. The measure bars using any money from the bill to bring Gitmo detainees into the United States or to transfer them to any other country without a certification that the receiving nation has met strict security guidelines.

Where's Outrage over Obama's Failure?

At the Radio Vice, Steven M writes:

So where is the outrage? Let me make this clear, if President Bush (43) had signed an executive order promising Gitmo would be closed within one year and he missed the deadline by three minutes, there would be calls for impeachment by the left and the media. Yet today, Bush critics are silent concerning President Obama’s broken promise.
Thus far, the only sign of any protest has been a rather feeble attempt by the usual left wing suspects in a protest outside the White House earlier in January. Other than that, nary a peep!

How has Obama managed to escape the same scrutiny that was demanded on a daily basis of the Bush Administration? It's as easy as this: Barack Obama (D), George W. Bush (R). If Bush or any Republican were in the White House and Gitmo still open, you'd see regular stories in the "news" media citing allegations of mistreatment and how awful it was for the U.S. to maintain such a facility.

In a recent editorial in the New York Daily News they describe Obama's failure to hold the "moral high ground" in a more positive light: "Consider it a bad idea that is finally, maybe, being consigned to the dustbin of history."

What more is that now Obama may go ahead and use the same military tribunals that President Bush painstakingly created to adjudicate the disposition of the remaining detainees. It's just one more example of Obama going back to the same Bush policies which he and other Democrats had campaigned against for years.

If there is any "moral high ground" here it's the Bush policies which were in place and continue to be used to prosecute the war on terror. What a shame that for political reasons, their timely use has been denied for so long!

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