Obama administration closing Gitmo-closing office

posted at 8:31 am on January 29, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Four years ago, Barack Obama’s first act as President was an executive order to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  The White House created a position at State of “special envoy” to Guantanamo, whose duties included reviewing the pending cases with Attorney General Eric Holder, and diplomacy with allies to place the current detainees in order to close the facility.  Four years later, the only thing being closed is Special Envoy Daniel Freed’s office:

The State Department on Monday reassigned Daniel Fried, the special envoy for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and will not replace him, according to an internal personnel announcement. Mr. Fried’s office is being closed, and his former responsibilities will be “assumed” by the office of the department’s legal adviser, the notice said.

The announcement that no senior official in President Obama’s second term will succeed Mr. Fried in working primarily on diplomatic issues pertaining to repatriating or resettling detainees appeared to signal that the administration does not currently see the closing of the prison as a realistic priority, despite repeated statements that it still intends to do so.

Mr. Fried will become the department’s coordinator for sanctions policy and will work on issues including Iran and Syria.

The Daily Caller remembers Obama’s demands for closing down Gitmo during his first term — indeed, during his first year in office:

Relocating detainees had been seen as a vital step in the president’s promise to close the prison, which was frequently and vociferously criticized by liberal activists before Obama’s election.

“I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that,” Obama told CBS’ Steve Kroft in November 2008.

Obama also signed an executive order shortly after taking office that declared the prison for suspected terrorists would be shuttered “no later” than January 2010.

So what happened?  First, Fried discovered that while our allies liked to complain publicly about Gitmo, they weren’t nearly as enthusiastic about resettling terrorists within their own borders.  After Obama and Eric Holder proposed trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other 9/11 conspirators in federal court in Manhattan, even Democrats like Chuck Schumer balked.  The White House looked into buying a prison in Illinois to transfer the remaining detainees out of Gitmo, but so far bipartisan majorities in Congress refuse to fund any activities relating to moving detainees or closing the facility that was built with the specific purpose of keeping them secured and outside of the US.

Ironically, Fried’s office got closed on the same day that KSM’s military commission trial resumed, although it didn’t go smoothly:

Two Sept. 11 defendants delayed the start of their hearing Monday at Guantanamo when they refused to respond to questions from their judge in the case.

Defense lawyers didn’t say what prompted the silent protest by self-proclaimed terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and one of five co-defendants at the military tribunal on the U.S. base in Cuba. Mohammed refused to say whether he approved the hiring of another attorney for him. Fellow defendant Walid bin Attash refused to say why he wanted a military lawyer removed from his team.

The judge eventually granted the changes without comment from the defendants.


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Those polluting Guantanamo are not terrorists; those darkening the halls of the White House are.

Archivarix on January 29, 2013 at 8:34 AM

What difference does it make?

….and Obama is NOT going to support ENFORCEMENT provisions in Senate bill?

Change baby!!!

PappyD61 on January 29, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Another expiry date.

OldEnglish on January 29, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Obama is a quantity over quality guy. Weed and lies.

Slade73 on January 29, 2013 at 8:40 AM

I still remember when I first heard they were moving terrorists to Gitmo I was in awe of the brilliance of it. Still am. Love it even more for the aggravation it no doubt causes Castro. But it always seemed that another equally viable way of detaining these scum without giving them access to US courts would be to put them on a prison ship — a US Navy vessel dedicated to a new mission of keeping these guys in international waters. Perhaps a pair of ships so that they could rotate them every 6 months when a ship needed to come in for maintenance.

I still don’t think it’s nearly as good as Gitmo, but I was always surprised that Bambi didn’t do something like that just to be able to preen about closing Gitmo. Plus, it would fit with his pattern of doing things in a less effective way and taking credit for bringing about “change”.

SoRight on January 29, 2013 at 8:40 AM

What difference does it make?

….and Obama is NOT going to support ENFORCEMENT provisions in Senate bill?

Change baby!!!

PappyD61 on January 29, 2013 at 8:36 AM

I suppose now it’s DOA at Congress then right? LOL

Mr. Arrogant on January 29, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Focused like a laser…

Electrongod on January 29, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Just words…

Aplombed on January 29, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Mr. Fried’s office is being closed, and his former responsibilities will be “assumed” by the office of the department’s legal adviser, the notice said.

Obama streamlining government and saving money yet again.

forest on January 29, 2013 at 8:42 AM

P O S !
keep it open!…in four years…we may have use for it again!

KOOLAID2 on January 29, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Ogabe can’t close Gitmo. He has too many friends there.

viking01 on January 29, 2013 at 8:43 AM

A product of the arrogance of a filthy rat-eared idiot who was unqualified to make such comments seeking to find support among America’s enemies both internationally and among the American left. Closing Gitmo was almost as much of a priority as freeing cop killers and terrorists.

Happy Nomad on January 29, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Epic fail

cmsinaz on January 29, 2013 at 8:46 AM

If you listened closely at Obongo’s speech you would’ve heard that he said he’ll close Gitmo when the oceans recede and planet starts healing itself.

Until then, have patence, STFU, and RAAAAAACIST!!!!!!

NapaConservative on January 29, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Four years later, the only thing being closed is Special Envoy Daniel Freed’s office:

…..the silence from the self-righteous liberals is deafening.

We heard from liberals for years about how Gitmo was “making us hated around the world” and “creating terrorist”…..
…now that Obama is running it….it’s all good.

Just more “war crimes” and “torture” that the democratic party has signed onto on behalf of supporting their liberal Messiah Obama.

Liberals are such a joke.

Baxter Greene on January 29, 2013 at 8:46 AM

I guess you could say Fried is fried.

viking01 on January 29, 2013 at 8:53 AM

Like the progs say: Obama got gitmoed, again.

tommy71 on January 29, 2013 at 8:56 AM

I guess you could say Fried is fried.

viking01 on January 29, 2013 at 8:53 AM

I guess you could by why would you? After four years of pretending to relocate all the terrorists and closing Gitmo, it must be a relief to be dealing with sanctions policy for Iran and Syria!

Happy Nomad on January 29, 2013 at 9:01 AM

keep it open!…in four years…we may have use for it again!

KOOLAID2 on January 29, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Nah. The punishment for treason is death, isn’t it?

The Rogue Tomato on January 29, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Gitmo is the most plush prison in US history.

Nothing but the best for Barky’s brothers.

CorporatePiggy on January 29, 2013 at 9:08 AM

So?

Obama is awesome or something./average libtard

sentinelrules on January 29, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Four years ago, Barack Obama’s first act as President

Make that his first lie as president to his slobbering libs.

docflash on January 29, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Like the progs say: Obama got gitmoed, again.

tommy71 on January 29, 2013 at 8:56 AM

More like gitmo got obamaed.

HumpBot Salvation on January 29, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Four years ago, Barack Obama’s first act as President

Make that his first lie as president to his slobbering libs.

docflash on January 29, 2013 at 9:13 AM

…you should have evidence before calling our President a liar. Just sayin’

nonpartisan on January 28, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Del Dolemonte on January 29, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Those polluting Guantanamo are not terrorists; those darkening the halls of the White House are.

Archivarix on January 29, 2013 at 8:34 AM

You should be ashamed. As should anyone defending this statement or standing mutely by it.

Personal rancor and partisan bitterness are no excuse for saying that political opponents are terrorists while those who actually killed Americans in cold blood are not.

Shameful histrionics are shameful.

dieudonne on January 29, 2013 at 9:38 AM

You should be ashamed. As should anyone defending this statement or standing mutely by it.

Personal rancor and partisan bitterness are no excuse for saying that political opponents are terrorists while those who actually killed Americans in cold blood are not.

Shameful histrionics are shameful.

dieudonne on January 29, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Where were you between January of 2001 and January of 2009? And beyond?

Heck, just a couple of years ago your Vice President, a 5-time draft dodger, had this to say about the opposition party:

Sources inside a closed-door meeting of Senate Democrats today said Vice President Joe Biden participated in a bit of name-calling. But not just any name-calling. No, those sources tell Politico that Biden likened Tea Party Republicans to “terrorists.”

“We have negotiated with terrorists,” angry Rep. Mike Doyle, a Democrat from PA, said, according to sources who were in the room. “This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.”

Biden agreed:

Biden, driven by his Democratic allies’ misgivings about the debt-limit deal, responded: “They have acted like terrorists,” according to several sources in the room.

It’s your side that should be ashamed, but we all learned a long time ago that Leftists are utterly incapable of that emotion.

F-

Del Dolemonte on January 29, 2013 at 9:59 AM

You should be ashamed. As should anyone defending this statement or standing mutely by it.

Personal rancor and partisan bitterness are no excuse for saying that political opponents are terrorists while those who actually killed Americans in cold blood are not.

Shameful histrionics are shameful.

dieudonne on January 29, 2013 at 9:38 AM

“Do you allow yourself to be held hostage and get something done for the sake of getting something done, when in fact it might be perverse in its ultimate result?” Mr. Menendez asked. “It’s almost like the question of do you negotiate with terrorists.”

NJ Senator Bob Menedez – D

“We have negotiated with terrorists,” an angry Doyle said, according to sources in the room. “This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.”

PA Representative Mike Doyle – D

Biden, driven by his Democratic allies’ misgivings about the debt-limit deal, responded: “They have acted like terrorists,” according to several sources in the room.

Vice President Joe Biden – D

A refresher course: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33SK78BT7FM

Sorry sport..it’s time to give the democrats the same treatment they dish out.

HumpBot Salvation on January 29, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Del Dolemonte on January 29, 2013 at 9:59 AM

When Biden compared Tea Partiers to terrorists it was shameful. There. I’m quite willing to spread the opprobrium around as needed :)

And shame on you for defending the statement she maine and trying to justify one wrong with another. It’s an action without honor.

dieudonne on January 29, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Sorry sport..it’s time to give the democrats the same treatment they dish out.

HumpBot Salvation on January 29, 2013 at 10:11 AM

No. It’s time to have the courage to support our convictions and condemn either side of the aisle for doing this. It’s was shameful for the laundry list of democrats you mentioned to do that but their misdeeds don’t suddenly make it ethical to commit the same misdeeds.

Did none of you have a nun tan your hide and explain that two wrongs don’t make a right when you were six?

dieudonne on January 29, 2013 at 10:16 AM

No. It’s time to have the courage to support our convictions and condemn either side of the aisle for doing this. It’s was shameful for the laundry list of democrats you mentioned to do that but their misdeeds don’t suddenly make it ethical to commit the same misdeeds.

Did none of you have a nun tan your hide and explain that two wrongs don’t make a right when you were six?

dieudonne on January 29, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Sorry scooter the rules have changed. Republicans have been playing nice and taking the high road for years…and it’s gotten them nothing. Time to use the same tactics the democrats use..it’s the only thing they understand.

HumpBot Salvation on January 29, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Sorry scooter the rules have changed.

HumpBot Salvation on January 29, 2013 at 10:20 AM

I’m sorry. I missed the memo telling me that if my opposition does something unethical and it works to their advantage then I am no longer required to make the slog along the high road and struggle for what is right.

Why should I be turning the moral and ethical framework of our nation over to people making these sorts of ends and means arguments? “We will do the exact same thing as Democrats with less ideological coherence!!”

Be still my heart.

dieudonne on January 29, 2013 at 10:28 AM

And just think we paid this clowns salary for 4 years and what did we get for that, bumpkis.

Oh yeah, I will add this;

BWHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

D-fusit on January 29, 2013 at 10:28 AM

dieudonne on January 29, 2013 at 9:38 AM

I just quit caring about “tone” Obama called me his “enemy,” told his supporters to “get in my face,” sought “revenge,” and claimed, hypocritically, that I am an “absolutist without principles.”

I don’t call him a “terrorist,” but I do call him a “child abuser,” “economic traitor” (Hey! If Bush was “unpatriotic” for adding $4,901,104,747,205.59 to the deficit in 8 years, what else can you call someone that added $5,805,678,874,845.91 in 4 years?), and only have this to say to him:

“Just STFU already, you ignorant, narcissistic, child-abusing, asinine, arrogant, pompous, condescending, classless, ill-mannered, puerile, petulant, braggadocios, ridiculous, contemptible, idiotic, demagogic, infantile, dishonest, inane, know-nothingish, authoritarian, crisis-manufacturing, incapable-of-leading, dilly-dallying, boorish, insipid, hypocritical, Machiavellian, Orwellian, unaccountable, fragile, imperialistic, windbaggish, dithering, nouveau riche, vain, vacuous, vapid, vulgar, spoiled, unenlightened, uninformed, inexperienced, cretinous, witless, stupid morceau de merde!”

Proceed with whatever. I simply do not care anymore. The President sets the tone for the country and I am waaaaay past giving him a pass for his thuggishness just because he occupies the “Office of the Presidency.”

He gets the respect he EARNS.

Resist We Much on January 29, 2013 at 10:29 AM

dieudonne on January 29, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Let us know how it works out for you DA.

HumpBot Salvation on January 29, 2013 at 10:32 AM

dieudonne on January 29, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Better yet, ask Romney how it worked for him.

HumpBot Salvation on January 29, 2013 at 10:33 AM

I just quit caring about AFTER “tone” Obama called me his “enemy”…

Resist We Much on January 29, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Let us know how it works out for you DA.

HumpBot Salvation on January 29, 2013 at 10:32 AM

I’ve been well served all my life by recognizing rhetorical skulduggery and puerile behavior when I see it and calling it out when possible.

Let me know what the slow spiral to the bottom that “it works for my opposition so I’ll do it too” gets you.

Odds are its not a system of values worthy of being passed down.

dieudonne on January 29, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Odds are its not a system of values worthy of being passed down.

dieudonne on January 29, 2013 at 10:42 AM

You assume that there will be anything left to pass down…

Thug Politics: If The GOP Wants To See What Obama Has Planned For Them, They Should Visit Chicago

M2RB: Eliena Siegman – Der Riese Theme

Resist We Much on January 29, 2013 at 10:55 AM

I’ve been well served all my life by recognizing rhetorical skulduggery and puerile behavior when I see it and calling it out when possible.

Let me know what the slow spiral to the bottom that “it works for my opposition so I’ll do it too” gets you.

Odds are its not a system of values worthy of being passed down.

dieudonne on January 29, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Let me guess, you’re a member of the No Labels Party, amiright?

The opposition is out to destroy republicans/conservatives politically and when possible…personally. And they’ve got the media to help them do it.

So spare us. Keep smiling and holding out your hand in friendship when your buddies across the aisle continue to kick your teeth in. I’m sure eventually you’ll prevail.

And my guess is..that you never call out democrats for their rhetorical skulduggery and puerile behavior.

Just a hunch.

HumpBot Salvation on January 29, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Resist We Much on January 29, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Yes I do assume that. Frankly, I think that most of the “Death of the Republic” wheezing is bitterness. This is not to say that there aren’t serious threats to America.

Let me guess, you’re a member of the No Labels Party, amiright?

No. I think they have fetishized “centrism” in a way that is almost entirely meaningless.

And my guess is..that you never call out democrats for their rhetorical skulduggery and puerile behavior.

Just a hunch.

HumpBot Salvation on January 29, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Are you even reading what you’re responding to? I have explicitly – in this thread – said that it was every bit as shameful for Democrats to do this in response to every example that people cared to point out. You want to find more quotes from Democrats that weren’t mentioned earlier? I’m game and happy to say that shameful behavior is shameful.

These aren’t hunches. They are cynicism without reference to the subject.

dieudonne on January 29, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Yes I do assume that. Frankly, I think that most of the “Death of the Republic” wheezing is bitterness. This is not to say that there aren’t serious threats to America.

dieudonne on January 29, 2013 at 11:08 AM

I don’t want a system where a President rules by executive fiat whether he is Bush or Obama.

I don’t want a country where dissent is only patriotic when it is politically correct.

I don’t want a country where speech is stifled, the free exercise of religion is curtailed (and I’m an atheist).

I don’t want a country where the right to bear arms is regulated to death, believed to refer to hunting or sport, or just flatout banned.

I don’t want a country where the right to privacy in one’s home, business, and papers on on his/her person is continuously eroded.

I don’t want a country where the right of citizens to petition their government for redress of grievances is dismissed out-of-hand.

I don’t want a country where much of the media acts a collective propagandist, a collective agitator, and a collective organiser of the masses.

I don’t want a country that cedes more and more of its sovereignty to transnational organisations.

I don’t want a country where the leaders REFUSE to address the most critical issues like the debt and unsustainable entitlement programmes.

I don’t want a country of drains, not brains.

I don’t want a country of dependence, not independence.

I don’t want a country where the collective is more important than the individual.

I don’t want a country of small citizens and a big government ruled by unaccountable elite and their apparatchiks.

You see, I CHOSE to become an American. I LEFT a country where all of that already happened.

Of course, since I already know the drill, I suppose that I have the knowledge, experience and courage that many Americans may lack in the future should it become necessary:

I’ll have no problem saying “Fund your utopia without me!” and here’s my passport.

Resist We Much on January 29, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Resist We Much on January 29, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Second the Manifesto: all in favor, raise your hands.

AesopFan on January 29, 2013 at 1:07 PM