The Reid Report: Democrats, particularly liberal activists, will not want to hear this. But President Obama cannot close the Bush-created prison at Guantanamo Bay, or try the remaining detainees still stuck in that island gulag, on his own. Like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act, Gitmo is a creature of Congress, and only Congress can kill it.
Currently riling the vocal left (and let’s face it, what doesn’t…) is the decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to stop fighting to get Khalid Sheikh Muhammad tried in a Manhattan court. Holder relented after more than two years of fighting not just Republicans .. but also Democrats, in Congress and in New York and Virginia.
….But far from rolling over and playing dead on KSM, as many on the vocal left have portrayed them, the Obama administration, and specifically Attorney General Holder, pushed back hard against the obstructions Congress has thrown in front of them (see here for details)
… – President Obama came into office in January 2009, and two days after his inauguration, he signs his first executive order, calling for the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay within one year.
- Less than five months later, Congress – controlled by Democrats – votes overwhelmingly to neutralize that executive order, and to keep Gitmo open, by choking off the funds needed to enact the executive order by building new facilities, seeking deportations, etc. The vote in the Senate was 90 to 6.
- In November 2009, the Obama administration tried another tack: they plan to move 100 remaining Gitmo detainees (not including KSM and other 9/11 direct suspects) to an all-but abandoned, state-of-the-art prison in Illinois. The rural town wanted the deal, and the jobs that would come with it. Again, the deal was blocked, and demogogued, by Congressional Republicans…
….To be clear: Barack Obama vowed to close Gitmo, and took concrete steps to try and do so. But he could not have anticipated the obstruction that would come from his own side in Congress…
Is there a way that the president can vault over Congress and bring KSM to trial in New York? The answer is no; not without directly violating numerous edicts passed by Congress (which back in the Bush days, liberals would have considered impeachable.) And the idea that “Bush did it” is more of the liberal fiction that George W. Bush routinely defied Congress, when in fact, Congress colluded with him on national security policy every step of the way.
Full brilliant post here
Thank you Ladyhawke