Posted by DrJohn on 28 June, 2010 at 11:44 am. 11 comments already!

throw in towel

Barack Obama has given up on closing Gitmo within his first and hopefully only term in office.

WASHINGTON — Stymied by political opposition and focused on competing priorities, the Obama administration has sidelined efforts to close the Guantánamo prison, making it unlikely that President Obama will fulfill his promise to close it before his term ends in 2013.

Of course, it’s not his fault.

When the White House acknowledged last year that it would miss Mr. Obama’s initial January 2010 deadline for shutting the prison, it also declared that the detainees would eventually be moved to one in Illinois. But impediments to that plan have mounted in Congress, and the administration is doing little to overcome them.

Obama made it sound so eeeeeeasy before he was elected.

As one of his first acts in the White House, Barack Obama is preparing to move hundreds of detainees from Guantanamo Bay prison to the US where they will be given legal hearings, trials or face yet-to-be-established special terrorist courts.

Mr Obama has a long-standing commitment to shut down Guantanamo, which has become a symbol of injustice for human rights campaigners, and a lightning rod for anti-US criticism since it opened eight years ago. Closing the prison, which is on a part of Cuba leased to the US, will bring to an end one of the most poisonous legacies of the Bush administration while sending a signal that the “war on terror” is under more enlightened management.

The feckless RINO known as Lindsay Graham spread some of the blame around to his fellow Republicans

And Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who also supports shutting it, said the effort is “on life support and it’s unlikely to close any time soon.” He attributed the collapse to some fellow Republicans’ “demagoguery” and the administration’s poor planning and decision-making “paralysis.”

Poor planning indeed. Closing Gitmo is not a new idea. George Bush wanted to close Gitmo for some time:

“The president has said he would like nothing better than at some point to shut down Guantanamo Bay, but there are a number of steps that need to be taken between here and that stated objective and they are tough issues,” McCormack said. “There are people down at Guantanamo Bay who are very, very dangerous and you can’t just let them walk free.”

But unlike the Community Oganizer-in-Chief, Bush realized just how difficult it would be;

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman noted Defense Secretary Robert Gates supports closing the facility.

“I think that’s the goal of everybody in the administration and probably most Americans — that we would rather not have to have a place like Guantanamo,” he said. “But the fact remains that there are dangerous people out there that are being picked up on the battlefield that have vowed to return to the fight if released and individuals that have committed war crimes and should be held accountable for their actions.”

PMSNBC declared, with much hoopla, that Bush’s secret prisons would be closed along with Gitmo:

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Thursday moved quickly to undo a contentious Bush administration national security program, ordering the CIA to close down secret overseas prisons and the Pentagon to close down the Guantanamo prison within a year. The president also banned the harshest interrogation methods.

We all know how awful those secret prisons are:

The CIA has used secret “black site” prisons around the world to question terror suspects, usually plucking them from one country and moving them to another where U.S. agents operated a prison. A senior White House source said the CIA will be allowed to continue these “renditions” but not to countries that torture and not to its own prisons.

So what did Obama actually do? Actually, he maintains his own personal black prison.

Bagram is Now Obama’s Guantanamo

Bagram, their brief contended, “is not a temporary holding camp, intended to house enemy soldiers apprehended on the battlefield, for the duration of a declared war, finite in time and space.” It said the “war on terror” as conceived by the government is “unlimited in duration and global in scope.”

Members of Congress are getting the message that Obama has given up:

“They are not really putting their shoulder to the wheel on this issue,” Mr. Levin said of White House officials. “It’s pretty dormant in terms of their public positions.”

Closing Gitmo is a failed policy. It is an Obama failure, but don’t look for any admissions.

In any case, one senior official said, even if the administration concludes that it will never close the prison, it cannot acknowledge that because it would revive Guantánamo as America’s image in the Muslim world.

“Guantánamo is a negative symbol, but it is much diminished because we are seen as trying to close it,” the official said. “Closing Guantánamo is good, but fighting to close Guantánamo is O.K. Admitting you failed would be the worst.”

“We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.”
– Erich Hoffer

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