Gitmo still not exactly shutting down

posted at 9:21 am on June 8, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

President Bush established the detention center at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to house detainees from the war in Afghanistan and later Iraq. In 2008, President Obama promised that, if elected, he was shuttin’ it down — it became one of the signature platforms of his whole campaign.

Just after entering office, Obama signed an executive order directing that Gitmo be closed, and that the detainees be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with the goal of repatriating them or bringing them to trial in U.S. civilian courts. Nothing doing, however — Congress blocked his attempt, citing security risks with terrorists attacks and escapes in transferring the criminals. (Being president is hard.)

So, if you can’t shut it down… spruce it up, I guess? Gitmo is currently undergoing millions of dollars’ worth of upgrades that will help it to stay open as a suspected-terrorists prison for awhile yet:

Among the recent improvements to the facility commonly known as “Gitmo”: a heavily guarded soccer field for detainees known as “Super Rec,” which cost nearly $750,000 and opened this week; cable television in a  communal living quarters and “enriching your life” classes for detainees, which include instruction on learning to paint, writing a resume  — even handling personal finances.

“Well, that’s one class, but it’s not a popular (one),”  Army Col. Donnie Thomas, commander of the military guards at camp, said with a laugh. “But it’s a class. It’s just to keep these guys busy.”

Other improvements are more practical, such as a new headquarters for the guards and a new hospital, which is still in the planning stages. …

Many of the improvements have been made at the most modern facility in the detention center, known as Camp VI, a communal living compound that houses about 80 percent of the 169 detainees currently held at Gitmo. There, detainees who are deemed to be compliant with the rules and therefore eligible for more privileges are able to watch 21 Cable TV channels, DVD movies, read newspapers and borrow books from a library. …

But for the remainder of the detainees – including some who are eligible for release but have no country willing to take them – there is little prospect of leaving Gitmo anytime soon.

Does anyone else find it a bit inconsistent that President Obama originally promised to close Gitmo for — oh, I don’t know, humanitarian reasons or something — and these days he’s taking out terrorists via killer robots with unrelenting fury? Not that I harbor any sympathies for the terrorists, but from a strategic security standpoint, isn’t it better to capture and hold terrorists for information rather than immediately wiping them off the map?

A drone strike would vaporize this ingenious terrorist intent on attacking the United States. But it would also vaporize all the intelligence inside his brain. Our national security would be better served if the United States captured al-Asiri and kept him alive for questioning, so we can find out what he knows. …

We saw just how important such intelligence is following the operation against Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. In that instance, President Obama made a rare decision against a drone strike and put boots on the ground. While bin Laden was killed in the raid, we recovered a massive cache of computers and hard drives containing hundreds of thousands of pages of al-Qaeda documents that were taken back to CIA headquarters for exploitation. It is no coincidence that the recent uptick in operations targeting al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen began soon after the bin Laden raid. All of that vital intelligence would have been destroyed had the president opted for a drone strike instead of a special operations raid.

Unfortunately, in virtually every case where the Obama administration has located senior al-Qaeda leaders in the past three years, the president has chosen targeted killings over live captures. Killing these terrorists has allowed Obama to avoid confronting the question of what to do with them once they are captured. But there is a lone exception to this rule. In April 2011, the United States captured a senior leader of al-Qaeda’s East African affiliate al-Shabab, Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame. He was questioned for more than two months aboard a U.S. Navy ship before being flown to New York for trial on terrorism charges. If Obama is not willing to bring al-Asiri to Guantanamo, there is no reason the United States could not question him aboard a Navy ship as well..


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Does anyone else find it a bit inconsistent that President Obama originally promised to close Gitmo for — oh, I don’t know, humanitarian reasons or something — and these days he’s taking out terrorists via killer robots with unrelenting fury?

Very nice.

tom daschle concerned on June 8, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Ok the resume writing class is cracking me up. What are they going to use it for and what in the world do they put on it? It is just hilarious.

sammypants on June 8, 2012 at 9:26 AM

KOOLAID2

tom daschle concerned on June 8, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Gitmo still not exactly shutting down

Great news!

BigGator5 on June 8, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Nope, disagree. Take out the bastages by all means possible.

UncleFodder on June 8, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Does anyone else find it a bit inconsistent that President Obama originally promised to close Gitmo for — oh, I don’t know, humanitarian reasons or something — and these days he’s taking out terrorists via killer robots with unrelenting fury?

We should start a list of things President Obama’s did to piss off his left-wing constituents that we actually approve of.

hawkdriver on June 8, 2012 at 9:29 AM

New upgrades planned for OBlahBLahs second term include a firing range, bomb making classes and Christian to Muslim re-education/conversion classes, also a course called Fast and Curious on how to stonewall an investigation until the moderates and the House speaker tire of holding people accountable for their actions!

ConcealedKerry on June 8, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Is there any video of Obama promising to shut Gitmo down?

blink on June 8, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Yes.

BigGator5 on June 8, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Congress blocked his attempt, citing security risks with terrorists attacks and escapes in transferring the criminals.

There is something very dubious about this. We have thousands of people locked up in high security prisons all over the United States. The idea that these terrorists are somehow going to be more able to escape doesn’t make sense.

This, plus the fact that Guantanamo remains open, lead to the conclusion that there are advantages with Guantanamo that are not revealed to the public.

Dextrous on June 8, 2012 at 9:31 AM

classes for detainees, which include instruction on learning to paint, writing a resume — even handling personal finances.

What, no macrame?

What kind of resume would these cretins write?!

“Experience with improvised explosive devices, decapitating hostages, and burning down girls’ schools.”

Akzed on June 8, 2012 at 9:31 AM

“Where is my damn free cable TV. Pres. Obama!”

Sincerely,
Peggy Joseph

hillsoftx on June 8, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Sprucing up Gitmo, eh?

Might be a good place to arrange for the tenure of a good number of members of the current Administration come January.

Maybe Timmy Geithner can take one of those personal finance classes. Eric Holder can see what it is like on the other side of the wire…for once. Force Barry and Michelle to eat only approved healthy halal food all day, every day.

Be a nice secure facility for a former President. Plenty of room for his minions and camp followers as well.

coldwarrior on June 8, 2012 at 9:32 AM

“Experience with improvised explosive devices, decapitating hostages, and burning down girls’ schools.”

Akzed on June 8, 2012 at 9:31 AM

That’ll get you a good union steward position. Might even qualify you for one of those advisory positions over at Holder’s DoJ.

coldwarrior on June 8, 2012 at 9:34 AM

The answer is quite simple Erika. Obama knows the only way they’ll talk is through enhanced interrogation techniques. The very “torture” he says won’t happen under his watch.

So, to him to the choice is to capture them and do nothing with them because he refuse to interrogate them or just kill them right off the bat.

Nobel Peace Prize winner opts to kill them rather than have to possibly “torture” them.

ButterflyDragon on June 8, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Dextrous on June 8, 2012 at 9:31 AM

The issue is, what kind of circus would be made of the towns where such prisons are located? Could the ACLU gain access to the prisoners? What about habeas corpus actions, and the evidence that would have to be supplied to deny them? Would they get the same mail privileges other privileges got? How many marriage proposals would flood in from Democrats? Etc.

Akzed on June 8, 2012 at 9:35 AM

We all missed our golden opportunity. If we had become terrorists a few years ago, we’d be living it up in the Gitmo Resort and Country Club.

Now we’d just get blowed up real good.

The Rogue Tomato on June 8, 2012 at 9:35 AM

If most of these people were free they would be on Obamas Drone Kill List and thus get a review several times a week on whether they should live or be blown to pieces, since they are in Club Gitmo they get million dollar taxpayer funded soccer fileds!
Let em go and let the Lyin kING use em for his video gaming entertainment before he decides to use it on Americans, After all even kINGS have to have a hobby!
Especially kINGS whose wives aren’t gettin it done right!

ConcealedKerry on June 8, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Not that I harbor any sympathies for the terrorists, but from a strategic security standpoint, isn’t it better to capture and hold terrorists for information rather than immediately wiping them off the map?

One Muslim taking out other Muslims. It happens all the time.

Now, let a US soldier take out some Muslims, and the press gets upset.

AubieJon on June 8, 2012 at 9:39 AM

This was discussed on FOX & Friends this morning. What’s really a kick to the gut is that the taxpayers have to pay $800,000 for EACH of the 169 thugs per year. Not even their home countries want them back. Maybe Obama is trying the save taxpayers some moola by droning them out! /s

Bob in VA on June 8, 2012 at 9:41 AM

ConcealedKerry on June 8, 2012 at 9:36 AM

LOL

CTSherman on June 8, 2012 at 9:42 AM

There is something very dubious about this. We have thousands of people locked up in high security prisons all over the United States. The idea that these terrorists are somehow going to be more able to escape doesn’t make sense.

Dextrous on June 8, 2012 at 9:31 AM

We live near a major Marine Corps base, and there’s no way in heck I want them anywhere near me. I also wouldn’t want them getting any special rights by being on US soil.

I’m fine with keeping many of them locked up and throwing away the key. We need to be very careful and delibate about who we consider for release. Some people can boohoo about the terror suspects not getting their due rights, but I say the hell with them. Anyone who has fought for Al Qaeda should never be released, anyway, IMO. Why not just get whatever intelligence is available, and then execute them for terrorist activity and be done with it. We shouldn’t have to answer to any other country.

bluegill on June 8, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Cable TV with 21 channels? They should give them one channel – ABC and make ‘em watch nothing but The View 24/7.

Talk about inhumane treatment.

oh and btw, the boy king is supposed to be having a press conference at 10:15 if anyone’s interested.

Flora Duh on June 8, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Erika OT but could you do a post on that Tool Whorealdo on Fox and Friends defending Holder and saying the guy from the south was indeed a racist and the Repunks should just let Holder skate cause they will look bad/
Whorealdo is the John Mccain of the left, the rights useful idiot! Of course I am sure Juan agrees with him as does Boehner.

Oh sorry, why not just pull our forces out and let the Lyin kING use the gitmo prison for his own personal drone shooting gallery and video entertainment?
I am sure the Air Force can hook a up a WhiteHut link for him to some armed drones flying out of Disney World!

ConcealedKerry on June 8, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Not that I harbor any sympathies for the terrorists, but from a strategic security standpoint, isn’t it better to capture and hold terrorists for information rather than immediately wiping them off the map?

…Obama’s decisions are based on what helps him….not the country.

Baxter Greene on June 8, 2012 at 9:51 AM

So, if you can’t shut it down… spruce it up, I guess? Gitmo is currently undergoing millions of dollars’ worth of upgrades that will help it to stay open as a suspected-terrorists prison for awhile yet:

You just have to laugh at all those self-righteous liberals and their selective outrage over Gitmo.
This place was the root of all evil when Bush was President….
……….now with a democrat in the White House….it’s a dam# country Club and the silence coming from the “torture crowd” is deafening.

Baxter Greene on June 8, 2012 at 9:57 AM

You Hotgas posters should really feel for the Jug Earred Lyin kING.
Just put yourself in his high top tennis shoes, sittin around his little room there in the West Wing, hidin from Moochelle, who by the way isn’t gettin it done, and that beast Jarret, tryin to watch sports and video drone kill games. Heck poor guy can’t even git BO the dog to play with him cause BO knows he has a chance of becoming jugears lunch if he gits too close and Mooslims can’t even tie a pork chop around their neck to entice the poor creature!
Maybe OBLahBLah should retire to Gitmo when his second term is up and he could play sports all day and have a cell Mate who might git it done for him!

ConcealedKerry on June 8, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Is there any video of Obama promising to shut Gitmo down?

blink on June 8, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Even better, there’s video of Barry ordering Guantanamo shut down.

My favorite part comes at the 0:42 mark when, after pontificating that Gitmo will be shut down within one year, Barry looks up to White House Council Greg Craig and basically asks “Ahhh, so now how do we go about doing this?”

In other words, Jugears didn’t have a farking clue as to what he was doing (which has since been repeated ad nauseam) .

pain train on June 8, 2012 at 10:06 AM

There’s only one man that could Shut It Down!

pain train on June 8, 2012 at 10:10 AM

This was the first thing he signed after swearing in, twice. It left his anti-war kooks thrilled but I wonder how much they like him now. As for spending $750,000. to ‘spruce’ up Gitmo, I wish the county would spend that grading our little dirt road. Sending drones after those on his kill list won’t change anything. AQ has more cock roaches than we have drones.

Kissmygrits on June 8, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Hey Bush, you know that Gitmo Idea? Brilliant!

kirkill on June 8, 2012 at 10:21 AM

O-zero is finding that being el Presidente is hard work, what seemed so simple on the campaign trail isn’t so easy in real life. I don’t think Bush wanted Gitmo, but it was the best alternative he could come up with. Being on an Island, close to the US it was easy to defend, hard to escape from and not subject to US law. Trying KSM in NYC was a dumb a– idea, I could possibly see having the trial in the US but why NYC? Pick a federal courthouse that isn’t located in the largest city in the USA surrounded by possible terrorist targets.

Closing Gitmo is one campaign promise I’m glad he didn’t keep. There are few others I WISH he hadn’t kept. I do find the left’s silence on his anti-terror policies amazing.

Sparky on June 8, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame. He was questioned for more than two months aboard a U.S. Navy ship before being flown to New York for trial on terrorism charges.

So, does that mean that he’s going to get a “civilian trial”, despite congress’ and the American people’s wishes?
Why isn’t he being flown to Gitmo for a military trial?

Of course, it’s in keeping with our SCOAMF’s usual practice of doing whatever he thinks will harm America….and the law be damned.

Solaratov on June 8, 2012 at 10:33 AM

tom daschle concerned on June 8, 2012 at 9:26 AM

(:->)
(lost a post here)…

…Gitmo will close when the current prisoners die of old age…or JugEars gives them a pardon as he exits the White House…to fullfill his promise. The Nobel Peace Prize winner is killing everybody else.

KOOLAID2 on June 8, 2012 at 11:01 AM

For six years the liberal whined about George Bush creating a war on terror and spending money on wars, and doing things that were not necessary to keep our country safe.

But Obama was sat down by the authorities, the Pentagon, the CIA and informed that Bush was not out of his mind, it was the only choice to keep America safe. The American Choice, not the right-wing-dickcheney-choice.

It is important not to forget this standard.

I do not want to hear convoluted liberal rationalization against the next republican president of the United States about everything he does, because Obama has done it all.

I remember right after 9-11 the parties came together. What that meant was, the liberals dropped their foolishness and even voted to go look for the weapons of Mass destruction in Iraq that Saddam had used on the Kurds, to keep them from falling into the hands of AlQueda. Later they lied and said they didn’t ever do that. Sen. Kennedy lied and made statements about the Bush administration hiding something and some elusive truth would come out.

They studied it , and the scandal was that liberals in the Clinton justice department, Jamie Gorelik et. als, had created a WALL between the law enforcement and the security of our nation. They could not share info on the perps. It would be unfairly easy to catch the terrorists that way, and they should have…rights…

They tried to bring those Gitmo perps to NYC. What if they had done?

You know the result of this, is that now the drone strikes take them right out. No trials. No soccer at Gitmo. No special meals. No special courtroom dress for military personnel who act as lawyers in the “court.”

I want the next republican president to be treated like Obama has been treated by the media regarding the war on terror. This time, lets have the media be on America’s side.

Fleuries on June 8, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Does anyone else find it a bit inconsistent that President Obama originally promised to close Gitmo for — oh, I don’t know, humanitarian reasons or something — and these days he’s taking out terrorists via killer robots with unrelenting fury?

I’m for Romney but I hope he continues Obama’s drone attack policy. beter them dead than us.

gerrym51 on June 8, 2012 at 11:22 AM

The ultimate solution for GITMO.

DRONE STRIKES.(only at the terrorists section of course.)

gerrym51 on June 8, 2012 at 11:28 AM

You just have to laugh at all those self-righteous liberals and their selective outrage over Gitmo. This place was the root of all evil when Bush was President….
……….now with a democrat in the White House….it’s a dam# country Club and the silence coming from the “torture crowd” is deafening.

Baxter Greene on June 8, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Exactly! Seriously, I can’t count how many times I had comment wars with lefties on HA regarding Gitmo, habeous corpus and waterboarding. Could never get through their thick skulls that under the Geneva Convention terrorists are considered “illegal enemy combatants” and are therefore NOT afforded rights under the GC let alone habeous corpus rights. Furthermore since they are not US citizens they do not have the right to be mirandized or have the right to a trial under US criminal law…they are illegal enemy combatants…not US citizens!

Yes indeed, the silence from the left now that a dem is the prez is truly deafening. Where are all the code pinko protests now? Where are all the anti-war and anti-gitmo protests from code pinko and the left now? Where are the left’s cries of “war criminal” for Obama?

THE LEFT’S HYPOCRISY KNOWS NO BOUNDS AND THEIR SILENCE SINCE OBAMA BECAME PRESIDENT ABSOLUTELY PROVES THE OUTRAGE THEY DEMONSTRATED DURING BUSH’S TERMS WAS POLITICALLY AND IDEOLOGICALLY DRIVEN…THEY ARE THE BIGGEST AND MOST DISHONEST HYPOCRITICAL PEOPLE I KNOW!

Lets be sure when a repub is back as president and the left and code pinkos crawl back from under their rocks and start up with their faux outrage again that we throw it back in their faces every chance we get!!

Liberty or Death on June 8, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Does anyone else find it a bit inconsistent that President Obama originally promised to close Gitmo for — oh, I don’t know, humanitarian reasons or something — and these days he’s taking out terrorists via killer robots with unrelenting fury? Not that I harbor any sympathies for the terrorists, but from a strategic security standpoint, isn’t it better to capture and hold terrorists for information rather than immediately wiping them off the map?

Inconsistent? Obama is not hostage to the hobgoblin of small minds.

See, Gitmo bad. Very bad. But what to do with the misunderstood community organizers and third world victims of US imperialism already there? Just releasing them hasn’t worked out too well. Releasing more would be political suicide. And Homeboy Holder”s attempt to bring them in-country for show trials was almost universally condemned as a really bad, terrible, horrible idea. So what to do?

Well, the firstest thing to do is to not send any more misunderstood community organizers captured with guns and bombs to Gitmo. That obviously just compounds the problem and goes farther off message than Corey Booker. But what to do with these poor souls? Can’t keep them in Bagram forever.

Hey, here is a great idea. Stop capturing them! Just kill them instead! Those peons captured on the battlefield don’t count. Send them to Bagram, torture them with tea and crumpets, a hot bath, and the comfy chair! Then just turn them loose on the down low. But the higher ups who are actually involved in the planning of terror attacks community organizing events get droned and blowned to smithereens! Then you don’t have to put them anywhere! They gone!

So you lose some intelligence. A small price to pay when there is serious politicking to be done, as in reelection.

You say that lost intelligence might have saved American lives? Damn you for a racist! You are obviously a bitter clinger too stupid to appreciate the nuances of Obama’s brilliant foreign policy stylings!

Problem solved (almost).

novaculus on June 8, 2012 at 12:13 PM

I’m for Romney but I hope he continues Obama’s drone attack policy. beter them dead than us.

gerrym51 on June 8, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Besides, it’ll be fun watching the left tie themselves in knots trying to condemn him for it.

CurtZHP on June 8, 2012 at 12:25 PM

people need to man up, soldier up, and use tactical nukes. stop friggin around.
save our soldiers lives and kill the enemy.

dmacleo on June 8, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Ok the resume writing class is cracking me up. What are they going to use it for and what in the world do they put on it? It is just hilarious.

sammypants on June 8, 2012 at 9:26 AM

“I see you have a 34 year employment gap on your resume…what did you do during that break?”

nextgen_repub on June 8, 2012 at 2:58 PM

What kind of resume would these cretins write?!

“Experience with improvised explosive devices, decapitating hostages, and burning down girls’ schools.”

Akzed on June 8, 2012 at 9:31 AM

That would be……
“Field engineer methods of traffic control…”
“Emergency field surgery…”
“Fire control methods involving mass casualties…”

There. Isn’t that better?
/s/

Solaratov on June 8, 2012 at 3:51 PM

It is a beautiful play by the U.S. military. They are following orders and just tell the folks who gave them if they don’t like it then change the orders. Then they go about playing spades and keeping asshats where asshats belong.

Limerick on June 8, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Wouldn’t it be consistent with JugEar’s drone kill policy to, say, remove all military from Gitmo and then drone kill all remaining inhabitants? I know that some of these wonderful people could be found innocent in a court of law, but, hey, you know, collateral damage.

Funny how JugEars speaks out of both sides of his ass. And here everybody thought he was so smart!

NOMOBO on June 8, 2012 at 8:31 PM