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Old 06-11-2014, 05:44 PM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Release of Taliban detainees shows Obama has power to close Gitmo.

There are so many levels of fail, here.

First off, you have the President violating a law to notify Congress 30 days before he makes the type of exchange he made for Bergdahl, which he justified with the exact kind of unconstitutional signing statement Bush frequently made, and the President himself condemned as a Senator.

Secondly, the five detainees the President traded off were (allegedly) among the worst detainees in Gitmo, as branded by the Pentagon. Meanwhile, the Pentagon refuses to release a great number of detainees from Gitmo who are already cleared for release.

Thirdly, Congress gave the President more authority to transfer detainees out of Gitmo if he can simply outline why the Pentagon believes they are not threats.

Fourthly, if there somehow exists the legal framework for the President to blow by Congress just like he did for Bergdahl, than he can close Gitmo tomorrow (or at least in 30 days) exactly the same way.

And yet, Gitmo remains open. One of the biggest remaining holes in this President's game.

http://america.aljazeera.com/blogs/s...losegitmo.html

Release of Taliban detainees shows Obama has power to close Gitmo
by Jason Leopold
Jun 2 4:38 PM

The transfer of five “high risk” Guantanamo detainees to Qatar over the weekend — members of the Taliban who the U.S. government had branded “forever detainees” — has lead one human rights organization to question why the Obama administration has not acted to transfer dozens of other detainees who have been cleared for release for many years.

Cori Crider, the strategic director for Reprieve, a U.K.-based human rights charity, said Monday that the transfer of the five inmates in exchange for P.O.W. Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. Army soldier, underscores that President Obama can move quickly to shutter Guantanamo if he has the political will to act.

“Many of these are being force-fed daily in a disgusting manner because they have been cleared so long they believe they will die in Gitmo,” Crider said. “Yet they could leave tomorrow with a stroke of Obama’s pen. Let’s hope this deal is a sign of more leadership from President Obama on letting the cleared men go home, too.”

When Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) last December lawmakers gave Obama much more flexibility to transfer prisoners out of Guantanamo than they had in previous versions of the spending bill. The bill calls on the Secretary of Defense to notify Congress 30 days in advance of any transfer and outline the steps the administration has taken to ensure the detainee is not engaging in terrorist activities against the United States.

But Obama still issued a signing statement with the legislation that said Congress did not go far enough:

Quote:
For the past several years, the Congress has enacted unwarranted and burdensome restrictions that have impeded my ability to transfer detainees from Guantanamo. Earlier this year I again called upon the Congress to lift these restrictions and, in this bill, the Congress has taken a positive step in that direction. Section 1035 of this Act gives the Administration additional flexibility to transfer detainees abroad by easing rigid restrictions that have hindered negotiations with foreign countries and interfered with executive branch determinations about how and where to transfer detainees. Section 1035 does not, however, eliminate all of the unwarranted limitations on foreign transfers and, in certain circumstances, would violate constitutional separation of powers principles. The executive branch must have the flexibility, among other things, to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers. Of course, even in the absence of any statutory restrictions, my Administration would transfer a detainee only if the threat the detainee may pose can be sufficiently mitigated and only when consistent with our humane treatment policy. Section 1035 nevertheless represents an improvement over current law and is a welcome step toward closing the facility.
It appears that Obama may have acted on the authority claimed from Congress in his signing statement when he turned over the five long-term detainees to the custody of Qatar.

Raha Wala, an attorney with Human Rights First, told Al Jazeera if the administration can make the argument that the five Taliban detainees are transferrable “without any significant problems under the congressionally imposed transfer restrictions” then certainly “the same argument can be made for the detainees who have already been cleared for release.”

With that said, however, it still remains unclear what authority the White House used to authorize the transfer of the former detainees and why the administration felt it did not need to abide by the law and notify Congress.

“It's a fair question,” said a lobbyist working on detainee matters who spoke to Al Jazeera on background. “I really do think the administration needs to answer that question. They should give an explanation as to why [the notification] didn't apply in this instance. It’s hard to read what it means for the future of Guantanamo and Guantanamo detainees. It’s still a more aggressive posture toward closing Guantanamo than the president has showed in the past.”

White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden told Al Jazeera that Bergdahl's recovery was the "result of unique and exigent circumstances" and "due to a near-term opportunity to save his life, the Administration moved as quickly as possible and determined that the transfer should go forward notwithstanding the notice requirement of the NDAA."

Hayden also said the administration is "making progress on a number of additional promising opportunities" to hasten the closure of Guantanamo, consistent with a promise Obama made after he was sworn into office. She said 17 prisoners have been transferred since Obama gave a major counterterrorism speech in May 2013. While Hayden noted that Obama lifted the moratorium on the transfer of Yemeni detainees none have been repatriated. However, she said the administration is "now reviewing Yemeni detainees on a case-by-case basis."
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:32 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
The war on terror wasn't a real war, functionally or legally.
Okay, then that means that Bergdhal could not have possibly been a POW, as cosmo tried to state, correct?
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:36 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
The war on terror wasn't a real war, functionally or legally.
yet the article you posted in the thread starter has Bergdahl a POW. was he not?

The US has not declared a war since world war II. (link 1, 2)

So by such logic Vietnam wasnt a "real war" either. In reality that is all semantics and bullshit.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:39 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by planetdoc View Post
what specifically do you not understand?


I am more concerned for the safety of my family and other Americans rather than the well-being of a suspected terrorist.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:44 PM   #19
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Originally Posted by petegz28 View Post
Okay, then that means that Bergdhal could not have possibly been a POW, as cosmo tried to state, correct?
He was a POW of the war in Afghanistan.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:45 PM   #20
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
He was a POW of the war in Afghanistan.
We can't have it both ways. We can't say the guys we let go weren't POW's but the one we got back was.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:45 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planetdoc View Post
yet the article you posted in the thread starter has Bergdahl a POW. was he not?

The US has not declared a war since world war II. (link 1, 2)

So by such logic Vietnam wasnt a "real war" either. In reality that is all semantics and bullshit.
We aren't sending troops to Terror. We invaded and occupied two countries.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:48 PM   #22
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petegz28 View Post
We can't have it both ways. We can't say the guys we let go weren't POW's but the one we got back was.
Call them whatever you want. It's not important to me what words you use.

We captured them under the same circumstances they captured us: fighting each other.

It was a prisoner swap. A concept as common as war itself.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Call them whatever you want. It's not important to me what words you use.

We captured them under the same circumstances they captured us: fighting each other.

It was a prisoner swap. A concept as common as war itself.
You said in your OP and I believe correctly, that Obama blew by Congress. Cosmo says he has the right to do so because Bergdhal is\was a POW.

So what is it?
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:55 PM   #24
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I stand by my argument. This is an area where Cosmo and I apparently disagree. I'm not going to make his arguments for him.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:55 PM   #25
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I am more concerned for the safety of my family and other Americans rather than the well-being of a suspected terrorist.
that is a bullshit statement. I have already posted quotes from top military leaders saying that torture does not work, and in fact leads to blowback that may very well threaten the safety of your family and other Americans.

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Old 06-12-2014, 02:57 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
We invaded and occupied two countries.
than those people are prisoners of war.
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
C
It was a prisoner swap. A concept as common as war itself.
I agree.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:58 PM   #27
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than those people are prisoners of war.
Sure. But not of a "war on terror."
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:00 PM   #28
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Sure. But not of a "war on terror."
Regardless, if they are POW's and Bergdhal is a POW then allegedly Obama doesn't have to consult with congress.

I agree with you that what Obama did broke the law but that's the argument.
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:56 PM   #29
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that is a bullshit statement. I have already posted quotes from top military leaders saying that torture does not work, and in fact leads to blowback that may very well threaten the safety of your family and other Americans.
I actually oppose capital punishment, but this is a different story.

It wouldn't hurt to use as a last resort and the belief that torture does not work is not entirely true. There have been conflicting reports on both sides.
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Old 06-12-2014, 04:19 PM   #30
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He's always had the unblockable power of the pardon, so what's the news here?
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