Holder: Hey, we’re still totally going to close Gitmo
posted at 1:25 pm on September 20, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
Look, I understand the the Obama White House has decided to shift to the extreme Left on policy this month. They want to pander to their base, which has been demoralized in discovering that their agenda has as much chance of passing Congress as … well, as Obama’s tax-hikes bill. But at some point, the pander will devolve into self-parody — and Eric Holder’s promise to really, really close the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay qualifies as the tipping point:
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday that the Obama administration will do its utmost to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay before next year’s presidential elections despite political opposition.
Holder said at the European Parliament that even if the current administration fails to close it ahead of elections, it will continue to press ahead if it wins the November 2012 presidential vote.
Er … sure they will. Obama’s decision to close the detention center was never a popular position — and it grew deeply unpopular after the Christmas Day Underwear Bomber attack. Holder had insisted that he would try the 9/11 plotters in federal court rather than the Gitmo military commissions system, but had to reverse himself when New York politicians objected to the trial and Congress — a Democratic Congress — barred the use of federal funds to close Gitmo.
Now terrorist masterminds like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh are scheduled to go through the military commission system, as others were all along. If Holder is promising to close Gitmo, where will those trials take place, and where will the terrorists be housed? Lats session’s Democratic Congress has balked at providing funds for a facility in the US, and no one, not even the EU Parliament, will believe that a Republican-controlled House will suddenly go along with Obama on closing the facility.
At this point, it’s getting difficult to determine whether the Obama administration is working harder to fool its allies, its base, or itself. If they believe that Obama can run and win in 2012 on the I’ll-close-Gitmo platform, then I’m guessing it’s the latter.