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Old 01-29-2013, 08:25 AM   Topic Starter
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Guantanamo will remain open for business.

Pretty big defeat for the civil libertarians among us.

I remain convinced that Gitmo and its usage in the wake of the "War on Terror" will remain a blot on American history. The complete black hole of legal protections we ensured there grew the pool of recruits for terrorists world wide (probably still does), and the enhanced interrogation we enacted there will essentially don this structure as a monument to American torture.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/29/us...son.html?_r=1&

Office Working to Close Guantánamo Is Shuttered
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
Published: January 28, 2013

FORT MEADE, Md. — The State Department on Monday reassigned Daniel Fried, the special envoy for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and will not replace him, according to an internal personnel announcement. Mr. Fried’s office is being closed, and his former responsibilities will be “assumed” by the office of the department’s legal adviser, the notice said.

The announcement that no senior official in President Obama’s second term will succeed Mr. Fried in working primarily on diplomatic issues pertaining to repatriating or resettling detainees appeared to signal that the administration does not currently see the closing of the prison as a realistic priority, despite repeated statements that it still intends to do so.

Mr. Fried will become the department’s coordinator for sanctions policy and will work on issues including Iran and Syria.

The announcement came as Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other Guantánamo Bay detainees facing death penalty charges before a military tribunal over the Sept. 11 attacks made their first public appearance since October on Monday, sitting quietly in a high-security courtroom at the naval base in Cuba as pretrial hearings resumed. A closed-circuit feed of the proceedings was shown at Fort Meade.

Mr. Mohammed, with a red-dyed beard and a turban, wore a camouflage jacket over white garb. All five detainees spoke briefly in telling the judge, Col. James Pohl of the Army, that they understood their right not to attend future days of the hearing. Only one detainee, Walid bin Attash, spoke further, complaining through an interpreter that the defendants were not motivated to attend because “the prosecution does not want us to hear or understand or say anything.”

The session mainly focused on technical matters like nuances in an order on handling classified information. At one point, the video feed was censored for nearly a minute. It was not clear why; Colonel Pohl appeared upset and said no classified information had been discussed.

Mr. Fried’s special envoy post was created in 2009, shortly after Mr. Obama took office and promised to close the prison in his first year. A career diplomat, Mr. Fried traveled the world negotiating the repatriation of some 31 low-level detainees and persuading third-party countries to resettle about 40 who were cleared for release but could not be sent home because of fears of abuse.

But the outward flow of detainees slowed almost to a halt as Congress imposed restrictions on further transfers, leaving Mr. Fried with less to do. He was eventually assigned to work on resettling a group of Iranian exiles, known as the M.E.K., who were living in a refugee camp in Iraq, in addition to his Guantánamo duties.

Ian Moss, a spokesman for Mr. Fried’s office, said its dismantling did not mean that the administration had given up on closing the prison. “We remain committed to closing Guantánamo, and doing so in a responsible fashion,” Mr. Moss said. “The administration continues to express its opposition to Congressional restrictions that impede our ability to implement transfers.”

Besides barring the transfer of any detainees into the United States for prosecution or continued detention, lawmakers prohibited transferring them to other countries with troubled security conditions, like Yemen or Sudan. In the most recent defense authorization act, enacted late last year, lawmakers extended those restrictions and expanded them to cover even detainees scheduled to be repatriated under a plea deal with military prosecutors.

Mr. Obama had threatened to veto the bill, but instead he signed it while issuing a signing statement claiming that he had the constitutional power, as commander in chief, to lawfully override such statutory restrictions on the handling of wartime prisoners. Mr. Obama’s intentions were not clear, however, even to internal administration officials.

Last July, before the latest statute, the Pentagon repatriated a Sudanese man, Ibrahim al Qosi, after he pleaded guilty before a tribunal to conspiracy and supporting terrorism and served out his sentence as part of a deal.

Another Sudanese man who pleaded guilty to similar charges, Noor Uthman Muhammed, is scheduled to be repatriated in about a year. There is now doubt, however, about whether the military can live up to that agreement.

In recent months, the federal appeals court in Washington has vacated guilty verdicts by tribunals against two other detainees convicted of similar charges — the only two detainees to date to be convicted after a trial, rather than through a plea deal — because the offenses were not international war crimes.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. decided to continue arguing in court that it was lawful to bring such charges before a military commission. That has led to a growing split between the administration and Brig. Gen. Mark S. Martins, the chief prosecutor of the tribunals, who objected to that decision and unsuccessfully sought permission to withdraw conspiracy from the list of charges against the Sept. 11 defendants.

On Sunday, on the eve of the hearing, General Martins addressed recent coverage of the split. He argued that any disagreement was a good thing because it showed that tribunal officials were not “moving in lock step,” but rather were independent, which “if anything bolsters, rather than undermines, confidence in the military commissions system.”
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:31 AM   #2
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Another Obama failure

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Old 01-29-2013, 09:48 AM   #3
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Another Obama failure
The "problem" is that of the top 10 things Obama voters wanted, closing Gitmo was about #100. No one care.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:52 AM   #4
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
The "problem" is that of the top 10 things Obama voters wanted, closing Gitmo was about #100. No one care.
I would strongly disagree.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I would strongly disagree.
It is way down on the list. Maybe not 100 but way down.

This is really all Bush's fault. He kicked the can down the road by utilizing GITMO. He couldn't figure out what to do with them either. He had the same issues we have now.

Yes, we can put some in max security prisons. But, we would have to have a trial. Thats not going to happen because of what happened under Bush's presidency. Some of these are religious fanatics that will kill again and if locked up, try to convert other prisoners to his way of thinking.

My feelings on GITMO changed when I took my current job. Talked and worked with many people who also worked in GITMO.

It's a classic rock and a hard place.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:09 PM   #6
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Originally Posted by BigRedChief View Post
It is way down on the list. Maybe not 100 but way down.

This is really all Bush's fault. He kicked the can down the road by utilizing GITMO. He couldn't figure out what to do with them either. He had the same issues we have now.

Yes, we can put some in max security prisons. But, we would have to have a trial. Thats not going to happen because of what happened under Bush's presidency.

It's a classic rock and a hard place.
I agree that Bush got us into this box, but we elected Obama partially because he told us he'd map a way out.

He's failed, dishearteningly, on that score.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BigRedChief View Post
This is really all Bush's fault.
thread ovah
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:28 PM   #8
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It is way down on the list. Maybe not 100 but way down.
Not to the activists in the Democratic party it was down there. Grassroots voters, perhaps. Most people vote with their guts more than issues.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BigRedChief View Post
It is way down on the list. Maybe not 100 but way down.

This is really all Bush's fault. He kicked the can down the road by utilizing GITMO. He couldn't figure out what to do with them either. He had the same issues we have now.

Yes, we can put some in max security prisons. But, we would have to have a trial. Thats not going to happen because of what happened under Bush's presidency. Some of these are religious fanatics that will kill again and if locked up, try to convert other prisoners to his way of thinking.

My feelings on GITMO changed when I took my current job. Talked and worked with many people who also worked in GITMO.

It's a classic rock and a hard place.
if i'm not mistaken, terrorists who are in supermax are held in solitary confinement...

they don't get much chance to convert anybody, except for the guards...
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRedChief View Post
It is way down on the list. Maybe not 100 but way down.

This is really all Bush's fault. He kicked the can down the road by utilizing GITMO. He couldn't figure out what to do with them either. He had the same issues we have now.

Yes, we can put some in max security prisons. But, we would have to have a trial. Thats not going to happen because of what happened under Bush's presidency. Some of these are religious fanatics that will kill again and if locked up, try to convert other prisoners to his way of thinking.

My feelings on GITMO changed when I took my current job. Talked and worked with many people who also worked in GITMO.

It's a classic rock and a hard place.
Yes, I also think if we closed GITMO that opens up the US to a lot of liability and responsibility to disclose everything that has happened there.

That still doesn't change my opinion of GITMO though. It should be closed. Obama has failed in that regard.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:16 AM   #11
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This is really all Bush's fault.
Typical democrat response.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:03 AM   #12
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The "problem" is that of the top 10 things Obama voters wanted, closing Gitmo was about #100. No one care.
Don't speak for me.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I would strongly disagree.
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Originally Posted by Reaper16 View Post
Don't speak for me.
Closing Gitmo was really that important to you? Like top 5 important things Obama should do when elected?

To some number, it was probably the very most important thing. Maybe you. To the vast majority of the 70,000,000 people who voted Obama in 2008, I doubt it was real high on the priority list.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:29 AM   #14
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
Closing Gitmo was really that important to you? Like top 5 important things Obama should do when elected?

To some number, it was probably the very most important thing. Maybe you. To the vast majority of the 70,000,000 people who voted Obama in 2008, I doubt it was real high on the priority list.
I have no idea if I'd put it in my top five. Where ever I'd rank it, it's pretty damn important.

That's true whether people had it in their minds when they voted or not.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:26 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
The "problem" is that of the top 10 things Obama voters wanted, closing Gitmo was about #100. No one care.
Yeah, it was only mentioned every single day during Obama's first campaign. It was no big deal at all.
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