They “misread” how bad the economy was, they “misread” how recalcitrant Iran would be, and now evidently they’ve “misread” how complex the legal situation is at Gitmo and how difficult it is to persuade other countries to take detainees. I’m tempted to accuse them of not having misread anything but rather of having lied brazenly on the trail to raise voters’ expectations unrealistically of how easy governance by Hopenchange would be. But quite frankly, I like their explanation better. Good work, rookie.
The one thing they do seem to have settled on: Indefinite detention without trial is a go.
The task force, set up on Obama’s second day in office, was charged with preparing a report to the president by Tuesday, July 21 outlining a long term detention plan for detainees captured in counter terrorism operations after Sept. 11. But continued debate within the task force over the legal basis for holding detainees who are not charged with any crimes—and where to house them once they are moved from Guantanamo—has forced the task force to postpone its report by a “few months,” a senior administration official told Newsweek.
A separate task force report on interrogations—also due this week—is being put off as well, said the official, who, like others quoted in this article, asked not to be named talking about private deliberations…
Three administration officials familiar with the process said the detention task force, which is jointly run by aieds to Attorney General Eric Holder and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, did agree that the Obama administration should continue to claim the right to hold some Guantanamo inmates indefinitely as “combatants” under the “laws of war,” without charging them either in criminal courts or in military commissions. That proposal is sure to prove controversial among human rights groups, which say any such “indefinite detention” violates civil liberties and is virtually indistinguishable from legal claims made by President Bush.
The One can credibly blame Bush for the legal problems with detainees for years into the future, which should help cushion the blow for the left when he inevitably announces he won’t be able to close Gitmo in January like he promised. (As of this writing, they’re, ahem, still on track.) Plus, look on the bright side — at least this report is being delayed because it deals with difficult issues and not, as with the overdue budget report, because The One is cowering at the repercussions once it’s released and voters see how badly he’s failed. If only he were as cautious and diligent about, oh, say, the future of American health care.
Update: As for that task force on interrogations, don’t forget about the “classified loophole.” I sure haven’t!
Update: What’s wrong with this picture?
Senior administration officials said Monday that the report on detention will be delayed six months and the report on interrogation and transfer policy will be delayed two months…
Six months after President Barack Obama signed the closure order, fewer than 20 of about 245 inmates have been transferred out of the U.S. military base in Cuba. Currently, there are 229 detainees at Guantanamo, and the administration, by its own clock, has six months more to remove them.
Gitmo’s supposed to close in six months. They’re delaying the report on what to do with the prisoners until … the current prison closes?