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Old 01-29-2013, 08:25 AM  
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 01-30-2013, 07:41 AM   #76
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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What exactly would you have him do?
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why do people keep saying he failed or lied or whatever?

congress has passed legislation restricting the movement of prisoners to other countries and won't allow them to be transferred to america to be tried in regular federal courts...

those restrictions are always buried in some larger bill that the president, any president, could not veto (see the op example)...

it's not o'bammy that is keeping gitmo open, it's the congress...
I fully admit that the President has had his hands tied by Congress on the issue.

Not entirely of his own doing. I see no reason why compromises could not have been made to lessen or eliminate these restrictions.

I do think that the Great Recession greatly reduced his ability to fight on this front the first couple of years, in which these restrictions were passed. I don't think this is an issue the President punted on.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:49 AM   #77
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Let me ask you a question Killer. In your honest opinion if tomorrow Congress came back and passed a bill to allow the transfer of Gitmo detainees and authorized moving them to state penitentiaries and have them tried in civilian court do you think Obama wouldn't close Gitmo as a detention facility fairly quickly after they all moved out?
It's so far removed from the realm of possibility i'm not sure it will even happen in my lifetime. I don't think he would close it down unless he were moving them to another location outside the US just so he could say he closed it down. Obama is a bigtime fraud whom promised change and really hasn't delivered on any of his promises.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:44 AM   #78
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"Really, the whole Gitmo thing has been a tremendous success for Obama."

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Old 01-30-2013, 09:05 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by blaise View Post
"Really, the whole Gitmo thing has been a tremendous success for Obama."

- cosmo
That's what you take from what I said? BEP is more reasonable than you.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:37 AM   #80
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I have read that it costs us about $800,000 per detainee per year. That alone IMO warrants re-thinking the place
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:57 AM   #81
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I have read that it costs us about $800,000 per detainee per year. That alone IMO warrants re-thinking the place
It'll be expensive anywhere they put them. There's no way they're going into general pop at some Federal prison.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:01 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by KILLER_CLOWN View Post
It's so far removed from the realm of possibility i'm not sure it will even happen in my lifetime. I don't think he would close it down unless he were moving them to another location outside the US just so he could say he closed it down. Obama is a bigtime fraud whom promised change and really hasn't delivered on any of his promises.
Thanks for your honest opinion. I am pretty confidant that if Congress gave him the green light it would be closed in a reasonable amount of time. I would agree with you that it certainly is a possibility that he would move them out of country.

I will add that contrary to your opinion he has delivered on alot of promises but on this he hasn't. Some of it is his fault and part of it is Congress's.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:04 AM   #83
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Thanks for your honest opinion. I am pretty confidant that if Congress gave him the green light it would be closed in a reasonable amount of time. I would agree with you that it certainly is a possibility that he would move them out of country.

I will add that contrary to your opinion he has delivered on alot of promises but on this he hasn't. Some of it is his fault and part of it is Congress's.
You can say it's open partly because of congress, but if he made a promise and didn't do what he said then that's his fault and nobody else's. No one said he had to promise more than he could deliver. That's on him, totally.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:09 AM   #84
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You can say it's open partly because of congress, but if he made a promise and didn't do what he said then that's his fault and nobody else's. No one said he had to promise more than he could deliver. That's on him, totally.
I would agree but I was speaking on this specific case. When he made the promise to close Gitmo IIRC Congress hadn't tried to intervene in blocking Bush's transfer of detainees or trying them in civilian court so that is something that he probably didn't forsee coming.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:18 AM   #85
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I would agree but I was speaking on this specific case. When he made the promise to close Gitmo IIRC Congress hadn't tried to intervene in blocking Bush's transfer of detainees or trying them in civilian court so that is something that he probably didn't forsee coming.
That is my interpretation of events.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:27 AM   #86
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That is my interpretation of events.
and this was blocked by a Democratic Congress. So Obama deserves some blame for not going hard after this issue with his own party members in Congress.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:29 AM   #87
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I would agree but I was speaking on this specific case. When he made the promise to close Gitmo IIRC Congress hadn't tried to intervene in blocking Bush's transfer of detainees or trying them in civilian court so that is something that he probably didn't forsee coming.
But you see that's an excuse, right? Like I said, no one said he had to over-promise.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:43 AM   #88
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But you see that's an excuse, right? Like I said, no one said he had to over-promise.
I see it as reality. He made the promise to sign an EO on his first day to close Gitmo (which he did) not having any inkling that Congress would block it because under a Democratic Congress they hadn't blocked Bush transfer of detainees and civilian trials. Why would he think that would change?
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:45 AM   #89
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and this was blocked by a Democratic Congress. So Obama deserves some blame for not going hard after this issue with his own party members in Congress.
That is also my interpretation of events.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:47 AM   #90
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I see it as reality. He made the promise to sign an EO on his first day to close Gitmo (which he did) not having any inkling that Congress would block it because under a Democratic Congress they hadn't blocked Bush transfer of detainees and civilian trials. Why would he think that would change?
I don't know, but I didn't make the promise, so I don't need to know.
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