Sunday, March 13, 2011

Obama dithers on Guantanamo

Senate Republicans said Thursday a tougher, more comprehensive military detention policy for terror suspects is necessary to fill the void created by two years of what they call the Obama administration's inconsistent approach.

Just days after President Barack Obama's decision to resume military trials for detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, five GOP lawmakers and Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., proposed legislation that would keep open the military prison by barring money for any alternative, impose restrictions on transferring detainees to foreign countries and push for military commissions, not civilian courts, to decide the fate of detainees.

Upon taking office, Obama said he wanted to close the Guantanamo prison within a year, but fierce congressional opposition has made it impossible. The administration reiterated its desire to close the installation on Monday when it spelled out Obama's executive order on military trials.

Supporters can try to blame Obama's dithering over Guantanamo on "fierce congressional opposition".

But, in fact, Obama took no steps at any time to keep his campaign promise "to close the Guantanamo prison within a year".

It's not that he tried and failed due to "fierce congressional opposition".

He never tried.

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