Guantanamo on the Front Burner

This week Gitmo news has dominated headlines. Both President Obama and former Vice President Cheney have given speeches that dwelt in part on relocation of Guantanamo detainees to US soil. Following the House example, the Senate pulled an $80 million budget request for bringing Gitmo detainees to the US.

And, in a vote that surprised many, the Senate passed by 90-6 legislation that forbids relocating Guantanamo detainees into the US. Even Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) said “we will not bring terrorists onto US soil.” The overwhelming rejection of the president’s request shocked the White House and generated the need for him to make a national security speech at the National Archives.

As this debate continues some points have emerged that will bear watching.

  • The president admitted that some Gitmo detainees will have to be confined, without trial, indefinitely. Yet he still insists that they be held in US Super Max prisons. Such a move – incarcerating unconvicted enemy combatants in a civilian prison opens the door for unconstitutional confinement of any deemed a threat by whoever is in high office.
  • Such a policy is certain to be contested at the highest court levels with virtual certainty that the policy will be overturned. Clearly any new judges that Obama is likely to nominate would reject that premise on its face.
  • The end result may well be that men that the DOD, affirmed by Obama in his speech, pose the greatest danger to America would then be released outright.
  • While this outcome may fall into the “unintended consequences” category, it is far too dangerous a possibility to take lightly.

All concerned citizens must be aware of these factors and weigh in with elected officials to insure their voices are heard.

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One Response to “Guantanamo on the Front Burner”

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