Posted by MataHarley on 17 May, 2009 at 2:34 pm. 13 comments already!


In seems the room of supporters and admirers of Obama’s Gitmo plan is starting to clear…

Latest Dem to bolt is Jim Webb of Virginia… the much touted Dem darling of the 2006 midterms. The party was ecstatic to nab themselves a respectable military man who not only opposed the liberation of Iraq, but is also the father of an active duty Marine who was serving in Iraq at time.

Webb, however, has done a complete reversal from his original position on Gitmo stretching back to April 2007, when he not only advocated closing Gitmo, but either running the detainees thru the US judicial system, or declaring them prisoners of war.

The United States should begin phasing out its detention center at Guantanamo Bay, where terrorist suspects are being held, freshman U.S. Sen. Jim Webb told a group of University of Virginia politics students Monday.

Webb said he agreed early in the War on Terror that such a facility was needed. “But there comes a point where people need to be dealt with through the legal system,” Webb said. “I think that time has come.”


After speaking to the students in professor Larry J. Sabato’s class on American politics, Webb told reporters that the detainees should either be declared prisoners of war or charged in the American judicial system if the U.S. continues to hold them captive.

“We can’t just continue to hold people in limbo without charges for this period of time and still call ourselves Americans,” Webb said.

But it’s a brand new day with the same old circumstances that so many preferred to ignore. And as reality sets in, more are backing off of the call to abandon the ship known as Gitmo.

Webb, appearing on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” with Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, said that after reviewing Obama’s plans to close the facility within one year, he doesn’t agree with the president’s time schedule and he opposes bringing any detainees to U.S. soil.

“We spend hundreds of millions of dollars building an appropriate facility with all security precautions in Guantanamo to try these cases,” Webb said. “There are cases against international law. These aren’t people who were in the United States, committing a crime in the United States. These are people who were brought to Guantanamo for international terrorism. I do not believe they should be tried in the United States.”

When pressed on the year deadline, Webb suggested the administration might have to be more flexible as it figures out where to send detainees.

“They’ve said a lot of things and taken a look and said some other things,” Webb said. “So let’s process these people in a very careful way and then take care of it.”

He added: “I think we should defer to the judgment of the administration who is looking at this. I think we all are moving toward the right direction. But we shouldn’t be creating artificial timelines.”

That couldn’t be construed as anything other than 180 degrees of turning. Worse yet, this aligns him with a few other Dems that find themselves reluctantly in the “enemy camp” known a the GOP.

So when does Webb think the Club Gitmo detainee facility should be shuttered? Only after all detainees are processed and disseminated…. assuming, of course, no others are added to the fray instead of being held in Obama’s current Gitmo, Afghanistan’s Bagram.

Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., said he opposed bringing any detainees to Virginia or elsewhere in the U.S. That includes 17 Chinese Muslims, known as Uighurs, who had received terrorist training from al-Qaida. The government has cleared the Uighurs for release but doesn’t want to send them to China for fear that they will be tortured for their activities there.

Webb said Guantanamo should be closed only after it has been used to process the detainees.

“We should close down Guantanamo at the right time,” he said. “Let’s process them the right rules of law, the right due process, within the constraints of how we have to handle these cases, with military intelligence and that sort of thing, but the facility is there at Guantanamo to do it. And then close it down.”

Quite a change from the smug and triumphant headlines that emerged after Obama’s rash decision to close the facility within hours of taking the oath.

Ah yes… a new day, and a fresh, more reasonable attitude. Like day and night. And perhaps, if they’d lay aside their partisan agenda for awhile, they may figure out this is why Bush ultimately didn’t close it when he very much would have liked to have that option as far back as 2006.

What will ultimately emerge is that Obama will either finally convince the Dems, the media and his O’faithful of Bush’s reasoning with honey-tongued language… or they will continue to beat up on the current POTUS for the same ol’ Bushisms they so loved to despise.

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