Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Close Guantanamo?

The foiled Christmas Day plot to blow up a jetliner over Detroit has thrown up a major roadblock to President Barack Obama's pledge to close the prison camps at Guantánamo.

Cascading reports that the alleged would-be bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had trained in Yemen, and that the plot was hatched by two former Guantánamo detainees, have even supporters of emptying the prison predicting a new impediment to their effort.

Nearly half of the 198 captives at Guantánamo are citizens of Yemen -- also the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden -- just south of Saudi Arabia.

"Close Guantanamo" was an ad lib line in an Obama speech, that got applause, so became a talking point, which became a policy position, that became a promise, and is now part of an an executive order to close Guantanamo by January, 2010.

Closing Guantanamo was never a well thought out policy position with widespread public support.

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