Right Hooks

Obama Threatens Executive Action to Close Gitmo

A campaign promise is a campaign promise.

Dan Gilmore · Nov. 7, 2015
A soldier stands guard in Camp Five at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Photo courtesy National Guard

A campaign promise is a campaign promise. Despite U.S. law that forbids the transfer of detainees to American soil, Barack Obama is bent on closing Guantanamo Bay, with or without Congress. “If Congress continues to refuse,” said Obama spokesman Josh Earnest this week, “I wouldn’t rule out the president using every element of his authority to make progress.” Soon, the White House will release Obama’s proposals for moving the remaining Gitmo prisoners, possibly to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, or the government’s lone supermax prison in Colorado. There’s plenty of collateral in this Washington muck fight. Obama vetoed the Pentagon’s budget because, in part, it prohibited the transfer of Gitmo detainees. To further weigh down Obama’s ambition and to prevent the possibility of Gitmo prisoners living in his state, Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas slammed the breaks on the nomination process for a new secretary of the Army in September. “I have gone head to head with this Administration on many issues,” Roberts said, “but none are as close to my core as my strong belief and commitment to protecting the United States, the people of Kansas, and all Americans.” After years in office, Obama is practiced in the art of subverting Congress and the law. Together with his ineptitude on national security, you have a deadly combination.

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