Senate blocks Gitmo closing … again

posted at 3:31 pm on November 30, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

If you missed this last night, you’re not alone; hardly anyone seemed to notice that the Democratic-controlled Senate just blocked Barack Obama’s first-day decree to close the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention center … again.  A measure sponsored by Sen. Kelly Ayotte gained 54 votes and passed late last night that prevents any funding from being used to transfer Gitmo detainees to the US:

The Senate has passed a measure that prevents terrorist detainees from being transferred to facilities on U.S. soil, a day after it was revealed a prominent Democrat had commissioned a federal report to identify U.S. locations that may be suitable for housing Guantanamo prisoners.

The measure, which was introduced by Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., was approved by a vote of 54 to 41 late Thursday.

Carl Levin warned that Obama would veto the measure, but that wasn’t enough to keep some Democrats eyeballing their 2014 chances from making sure they went on the record as supporting Ayotte:

Current law denies suspected terrorists, including U.S. citizens seized within the nation’s borders, the right to trial and subjects them to the possibility they would be held indefinitely. It reaffirms the post-Sept. 11 authorization for the use of military force that allows indefinite detention of enemy combatants.

Several Democrats vulnerable in the 2014 elections voted with Republicans on Ayotte’s measure.

The Boss Emeritus warns of a culture-of-corruption subtext to the effort to close Gitmo in her column today:

The first White House maneuver took place in October, while much of the public and the media were preoccupied with election news. On Oct. 2, Obama’s cash-strapped Illinois pals announced that the federal government bought out the Thomson Correctional Center in western Illinois for $165 million. According to Watchdog.Org, a recent appraisal put the value of the facility at $220 million.

Democratic Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin led the lobbying campaign for the deal, along with Illinois Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn, who is overseeing an overall $43 billion state budget deficit and scraping for every available penny. The Thomson campus has been an empty Taj Mahal for more than a decade because profligate state officials had no money for operations. Economic development gurus (using the same phony math of federal stimulus peddlers) claim the newly federalized project will bring in $1 billion.

Sen. Durbin told a local Illinois paper that “the decision to move ahead came directly from President Barack Obama” and that he had secured the green light during a discussion on Air Force One earlier in the spring. But this gift to Obama’s Illinois homeboys wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill campaign favor.

Obama’s unilateral and unprecedented decision steamrolled over bipartisan congressional opposition to the purchase. That opposition dates back to 2009, when the White House first floated the idea of using Thomson to house jihadi enemy combatants detained in Cuba. As you may recall, the scheme caused a national uproar. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee overseeing the Justice Department’s budget, blocked the administration from using unspent DOJ funds for the deal. With bipartisan support, Congress passed a law barring the transfer of Gitmo detainees to Thomson or any other civilian prison.

The message was clear: Taxpayers doesn’t want manipulative Gitmo detainees or their three-ring circuses of transnationalist sympathizers and left-wing lawyers on American soil. Period.

Fox’s Bill Hemmer interviews former four-star General Jack Keane, a Vice Chief of Staff under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, to discuss the wisdom of closing Gitmo.  Keane reminds viewers that these are not criminals but illegal enemy combatants in war — and that the length of the war hasn’t been our choice.


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Bwahahahaha. Some good news for a change.

LASue on November 30, 2012 at 3:35 PM

These poor detainees are stuck at club Gitmo!!!

Roymunson on November 30, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Don’t Obama’s illegal actions on this make HIM eligible for residence at Gitmo???

landlines on November 30, 2012 at 3:39 PM

If there were justice in this world I’m sure there would be a cell in Gitmo for Obummer! Or maybe a scaffold with a trap door!!

Deano1952 on November 30, 2012 at 3:39 PM

So proud of my boys Quinn and Durbin…NOT!

/BUCK FARACK/

Nutstuyu on November 30, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Thank God for Kelly. Get out of the way. Let a girl do it.

Fleuries on November 30, 2012 at 3:40 PM

So, how do we get a refund on Thompson prison?

JPeterman on November 30, 2012 at 3:42 PM

The Thomson prison is right beside the highway.

Idiot.

kingsjester on November 30, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Move them to Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Miami.

EddieC on November 30, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Hey, the state of IL got a pretty good deal on that price. 165 million for a property appraised at 220 million. Oh, well,….

a capella on November 30, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Congress is fighting over the radio in the Ford Focus… They want to make sure the right music is playing when they hit the barrier at 120 miles per hour…

SWalker on November 30, 2012 at 3:53 PM

http://www.joedanmedia.com/images/albums/NewAlbum_053c7/tn_1200_9c5f7ce96427994598a6ef10ca96adb0.jpeg.png

davidk on November 30, 2012 at 3:48 PM

ROTFLMAO… Now that is down right funny… ;)

SWalker on November 30, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Obama is the Muslim Brotherhood.

He made Morsi and Morsi sustains him.

Schadenfreude on November 30, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Congress is fighting over the radio in the Ford Focus… They want to make sure the right music is playing when they hit the barrier at 120 miles per hour…

SWalker on November 30, 2012 at 3:53 PM

His comments are spot on.

davidk on November 30, 2012 at 4:01 PM

IT’S THOSE DARNED REPUBLICANS WHO CONTROL THE SENATE blocking the great 0bama from keeping his campaign promises.

Oh wait……..

UltimateBob on November 30, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Can’t we transfer them to the bottom of the ocean instead, to follow their dear leader Obama Osama bin Laden?

Archivarix on November 30, 2012 at 4:03 PM

We got enough politician scum in IL already. I don’t want Gitmo scum in IL. Heck, I don’t want to be in IL.

stukinIL4now on November 30, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Homophobe senators.

Bishop on November 30, 2012 at 4:17 PM

A sad day for America.

No surprise that the woman who authored “In Defense of Internment” would be opposed to closing Gitmo. Let’s just hold people indefinitely and without trial. That’s the bedrock upon which we declared our independence.

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 4:33 PM

What does it accomplish moving them state side anyway? Is it some sort of feel good thing in that the place the “evil” Bush opened will be closed thus generating love and kindness from those that hate us?

Frank Enstine on November 30, 2012 at 4:37 PM

The detainees at Gitmo are undergoing trials. They’ve also all had hearings on their combat status.

If AQ declares an end to the war, they’ll be let go.

I have to say I’m a little bit troubled (yeah, a concern troll post) at the Senate interfering in the Commander in Chief’s decision. Isn’t this a military decision by the C-in-C during wartime?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in favor of giving them civilian trials – which is what would happen if they were brought here. I’m just not sure that the Senate isn’t interfering with the President’s power.

Although the power of the purse trumps everything.

SteveMG on November 30, 2012 at 4:43 PM

What does it accomplish moving them state side anyway?

Well, they’d get all the constitutional protections that we have. Habeas rights, et cetera.

We’d have to give them civilian trials.

What a mess that would be.

SteveMG on November 30, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Well, they’d get all the constitutional protections that we have. Habeas rights, et cetera.

We’d have to give them civilian trials.

What a mess that would be.

SteveMG on November 30, 2012 at 4:44 PM

As they should.

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 4:50 PM

As they should.

But they’re not civilians – they’re combatants – and they weren’t captured on US soil.

To my knowledge, we’ve never given civilian trials before to any combatant captured overseas in any other war. They were either given military trials (ex parte Quirin) or held in detention (the hundreds of thousands of German soldiers held here during WWII).

Even the German soldiers captured here were given military trials.

Military tribunals afford enough protection for these types of combatants. Although we legally can hold them forever.

I think we’ve fought this issue before. It’s settled to me.

SteveMG on November 30, 2012 at 4:54 PM

But they’re not civilians – they’re combatants – and they weren’t captured on US soil.

To my knowledge, we’ve never given civilian trials before to any combatant captured overseas in any other war. They were either given military trials (ex parte Quirin) or held in detention (the hundreds of thousands of German soldiers held here during WWII).

Even the German soldiers captured here were given military trials.

Military tribunals afford enough protection for these types of combatants. Although we legally can hold them forever.

I think we’ve fought this issue before. It’s settled to me.

SteveMG on November 30, 2012 at 4:54 PM

I really don’t care if the trials are civilian or military, as long as there are trials. Holding someone indefinitely without due process is totalitarian, and supporting it is immoral. Don’t you find it convenient that the tyrannical government who is “holding them forever” gets to decide that it’s legal to “hold them forever”? Doesn’t that give you any pause?

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 5:01 PM

It was tough to get to work after the liberals took to the streets in protest today.

hawkdriver on November 30, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Don’t you find it convenient that the tyrannical government who is “holding them forever” gets to decide that it’s legal to “hold them forever”? Doesn’t that give you any pause?

Well, I understand that’s what international law says. That we can hold them until the end of hostilities. As you probably know, we’ve let some go back home. Or sent them home where they were eventually released (and some have gone back to attacking us).

We held German POWS for decades after the war, after the Nuremberg military tribunals and, of course, AFTER the war.

Let me ask you: If our soldiers in Afghanistan right now capture 10 Taliban fighters after a firefight do those Taliban fighters have the right to a civilian trial here? Do we need to bring them back here and give them full constitutional rights and a civilian trial?

SteveMG on November 30, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 5:01 PM

You need to figure out a different word to use than “immoral”. There is no real connotation of it in your political belief system. They is either something that the majority considers an acceptable norm or not. No morality.

hawkdriver on November 30, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Let me ask you: If our soldiers in Afghanistan right now capture 10 Taliban fighters after a firefight do those Taliban fighters have the right to a civilian trial here? Do we need to bring them back here and give them full constitutional rights and a civilian trial?

SteveMG on November 30, 2012 at 5:08 PM

I couldn’t give two rips about international law. Holding German POWs for decades after the war, or even holding them after the war, is by no means rationalization or justification for doing it again. This is a common argument made when defending unconstitutional actions (“Well president so-and-so did it,” or “it’s been done for decades”).

They have a right to a trial, I don’t know that they’d get a fair one, but they have a right to a trial. No, it does not have to be on our soil. Yes, they have a right to due process. You do know, though, that Constitutional rights are not given; they are unalienable rights that are guaranteed.

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 5:13 PM

You need to figure out a different word to use than “immoral”. There is no real connotation of it in your political belief system. They is either something that the majority considers an acceptable norm or not. No morality.

hawkdriver on November 30, 2012 at 5:10 PM

You don’t know anything about my belief system. Holding someone indefinitely without due process is totalitarian and immoral, and supporting it is immoral.

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Actually Dante, we are being quite merciful. The other way to handle Unlawful Enemy Combatants under the Law of Land Warfeare is Battlefield Execution.

Would that make you feel better?

Old Dog on November 30, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Actually Dante, we are being quite merciful. The other way to handle Unlawful Enemy Combatants under the Law of Land Warfeare is Battlefield Execution.

Would that make you feel better?

Old Dog on November 30, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Oh, of course. Indefinitely imprisoning someone is quite merciful. How gracious we are. Your use of capitalization really drives that point home.

The premise is entirely ridiculous, “unlawful enemy combatant” just rolls off the Orwellian tongue. “Hey! You can’t be an “enemy combatant”! Only we get to say who can or can’t be an enemy combatant, you law breaker!”

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Well, they did the choosing and we did not set the rules unilaterally. The definition was in place long before the incidents of Terrorism started

Old Dog on November 30, 2012 at 5:25 PM

hawkdriver on November 30, 2012 at 5:10 PM

You don’t know anything about my belief system. Holding someone indefinitely without due process is totalitarian and immoral, and supporting it is immoral.

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 5:15 PM

May I suggest imnormal? It’s imnormal for your societal generated norms.

hawkdriver on November 30, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 5:22 PM

PS, without the men and women “on the wall” making these hard decisions and bearing the brunt of the responsibility of guaranteeing your rights, someone would have silenced your free speech long ago.

Thank a soldier. Thank a politician who isn’t afraid of your misguided opinion.

hawkdriver on November 30, 2012 at 6:56 PM

PS, without the men and women “on the wall” making these hard decisions and bearing the brunt of the responsibility of guaranteeing your rights, someone would have silenced your free speech long ago.

Thank a soldier. Thank a politician who isn’t afraid of your misguided opinion.

hawkdriver on November 30, 2012 at 6:56 PM

The military doesn’t guarantee my rights, nor is it responsible for guaranteeing my rights.

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 8:28 PM

May I suggest imnormal? It’s imnormal for your societal generated norms.

hawkdriver on November 30, 2012 at 6:53 PM

May I suggest thinking with your head instead of your rear end?

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 8:28 PM

May I suggest thinking with your head instead of your rear end?

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 8:28 PM

…I think I’m right!…I don’t think you have taken a sh!t…your whole life!

KOOLAID2 on November 30, 2012 at 11:38 PM

Rep Gomert from TX has the right idea. We have the best leverage in the world. Obama cannot get a nickel unless the House passes the bill. I repeat: Obama cannot get a nickel unless the House passes the bill. Submit a good bill, then tell O that unless he works with it, nada, nil, nothin. We are right where we were last year; I am not going to vote Repub unless the Boehner Boobs stand their ground. We may get beaten no matter what; but they can’t say we didn’t stand up and fight. Now if taxes are raised on the beloved middle class, it is because of O and he should not get any money. All we have now is bitter women, no speaka da English, rapper dappers, and odd men out running this country. Time to listen to Newt!!!!!

AReadyRepub on December 1, 2012 at 1:14 AM

This closing GITMO meme is all downside to democrats. The minute they get civil trials will start the daily reminders to the public of the kind of characters the president’s party likes to accommodate. Each deluded and radical freak pleading his case will be a headline election issue for someone.

Every democrat standing or thinking of running will have to explain the sanity of trying (and releasing) known terrorists. The presidential clique, not concerned about elections, cares about these guys, so this would be a wedge issue if democrats allowed it to be.

I’m sure Durbin’s new prison can be used to manage Chicago’s existing
wave of crime and corruption.

virgo on December 1, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Gitmo detainees would fit right in here in Illinois. Hell, our legislature would probably give them driving licenses just like our Illegal Immigrants.
Abe where are you? Save the Union.

Herb on December 1, 2012 at 12:55 PM