Gallup poll shows two-thirds favor keeping Gitmo open

posted at 2:41 pm on June 16, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

After the release of four of the most dangerous Taliban figures not directly linked to al-Qaeda (and one with a link to Osama bin Laden himself) from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, the Obama administration has signaled full speed ahead on closing Gitmo as Barack Obama promised since 2007. Opposition to closing Gitmo and moving its prisoners to the US remains higher than it was when Obama made that promise, according to a Gallup poll from Friday, and unchanged since 2009:

Twenty-nine percent of Americans support closing the terrorist detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and moving its prisoners to U.S. prisons, while two in three (66%) oppose the idea. Despite the recent controversy surrounding the release of five Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Berghdal’s release from Afghanistan, Americans’ views have barely budged since 2009.

These results are from a June 5-8 Gallup poll conducted days after the release of Sgt. Bergdahl. Gallup found that Americans are divided on the wisdom of negotiating with terrorist groups to secure the release of Americans prisoners.

President Barack Obama made the closing of Guantanamo Bay a part of his 2008 campaign platform, but he has yet to do so. However, he recently reiterated his desire to close the prison at West Point graduation ceremony. Despite the president’s continued commitment to its closure, Americans’ views have not changed much in the four times Gallup has asked them about this issue.

The problem with looking at this as an unchanging attitude is the lack of data points. It’s true that the poll results are almost identical to 2009′s survey, but it’s also true that Gallup hasn’t polled on the question since then. In fact, not too many pollsters have asked the question, because opposition to such a move has been a bipartisan consensus outside of the West Wing during the entirety of the Obama administration.

It’s still a bipartisan consensus, according to the partisan breakdown of this poll. Obama faces majority opposition (54%, with 41% approving) to a Gitmo closure and transfer of detainees to the US among his own party. Among independents, that rises to a 30/64, and 13/84 among Republicans. In 2009, a slim majority of Democrats approved of such a move, and Obama has lost 12 points among Democrats on this issue since the beginning of his term in office.

One implicit conclusion from the “unchanged” claim is that the release of the Taliban 5 did nothing to inflame public opinion against the move, as well as did nothing to boost it. However, the lack of data points means no such assumption could be made, as we don’t know from the Gallup series whether the public had softened its stance on closing Gitmo. A Huffington Post/YouGov poll suggests that it might have been incrementally softer before the release. At the beginning of May, the idea of closing Gitmo got a 27/54 rating, while the public was largely split on the wisdom of holding unlawful combatants in US prisons rather than military detention (38/39).  Perhaps another survey in this series would clarify whether Obama damaged his close-Gitmo project by releasing the worst of the non-AQ Taliban for Bowe Bergdahl.

Meanwhile, Congress is reacting to the unpopularity of the swap by attempting new restrictions on transfers of Gitmo detainees to the US:

Guantanamo detainees would be prevented from transferring to the United States, under legislation offered by Rep. Marsha Blackburn.

The proposal is a direct response to the swap of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a five-year captive in Afghanistan, for five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo. Even though the terror suspects were sent abroad, the Tennessee Republican argues this is an opportune moment to provide a long-term solution to the detainee transfer issue – a situation that has vexed two presidential administrations since shortly after 9/11.

Blackburn and colleagues contend President Barack Obama willfully and intentionally violated rules pertaining to the transfer of Gitmo terrorist detainees in the Bergdahl deal. So her bill would make it illegal to transfer Gitmo terror suspects into the U.S., punishable by a fine and up to five years in federal prison.

Expect a food fight from the Obama administration over that bill, but the Senate may not be able to prevent such a bill from getting a floor vote. With the kind of polling we’re seeing on Gitmo and the outrage over the Taliban 5 swap, red-state Democrats in the upper chamber facing re-election in a few months may not want to give voters any more reason to give Republicans control of the Senate as a check against Obama’s arrogance.


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So, who cares what 2/3 want. Its only a matter of what Obmubles wants. If Obumbles wills it to be done, so be it.

hawkeye54 on June 16, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Of course we need to keep it open. We need a place to put obozo and his criminal administration. It’s a perfect place for President Some Beach to spend his “retirement”.

Flange on June 16, 2014 at 2:45 PM

( Love that photo of obama with Bob “The Stalker” Bergdahl )

Twin sisters lived in fear of Bowe Bergdahl’s ‘stalker’ father who was caught ‘peeping into their windows while they were in the shower’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2657068/EXCLUSIVE-Revealed-Twin-sisters-lived-fear-Bowe-Bergdahls-stalker-father-caught-peeping-windows-shower.html

Pork-Chop on June 16, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Gallup poll shows two-thirds favor keeping Gitmo open

And have vacancies…

When Obama is done…

Electrongod on June 16, 2014 at 2:46 PM

The American public has nothing to with what Washington does……..

d1carter on June 16, 2014 at 2:46 PM

So…2/3 of the country are racist, islamophobic, undeducated and paranoid? Did I get that correct?

Newtie and the Beauty on June 16, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Don’t miss this either.

Keep in mind that the Gitmo detainees have unchecked access to all the books and papers they want to read. They know exactly what Hussein obama did with the Gitmo 5 bad ones. Their lawyers know exactly what to do.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2014 at 2:47 PM

That’s a nice photo. Where does the guy with the beard live, anyway?
 
Shame Obama didn’t have time to inform Congress.

rogerb on June 16, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Are people who want Gitmo leveled down with all its residents in it (excluding personnel) included in those 2/3?

Rix on June 16, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Newsflash – the majority of Americans always did, and still do, oppose obama’care’.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Spain Arrests Eight In Raid Against ISIS Jihadist Cell Led By Former Gitmo Detainee…

Resist We Much on June 16, 2014 at 2:51 PM

The question is this – can they arrest them faster than obama releases them?

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Since when does the majority matter?

Redford on June 16, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Can you imagine how many Americans valery will have to get kidnapped/captured by muzzies all over the world,
to release these gitmo dirtbags ?

burrata on June 16, 2014 at 2:59 PM

If Spain had an ISIS cell, do we have one, too? Good thing we can keep our guns if we like our guns.

Kissmygrits on June 16, 2014 at 2:59 PM

With the kind of polling we’re seeing on Gitmo and the outrage over the Taliban 5 swap, red-state Democrats in the upper chamber facing re-election in a few months may not want to give voters any more reason to give Republicans control of the Senate as a check against Obama’s arrogance.

Too bad for them that Harry Reid doesn’t give a RIP about them!

ladyingray on June 16, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Pork-Chop on June 16, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Where is the father of those girls to make Bergdahl of Mecca live in fear?

Bishop on June 16, 2014 at 3:03 PM

If Spain had an ISIS cell, do we have one, too? Kissmygrits on June 16, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Yup, it’s called the FEDS.

burrata on June 16, 2014 at 3:04 PM

If Spain had an ISIS cell, do we have one, too? Good thing we can keep our guns if we like our guns.

Kissmygrits on June 16, 2014 at 2:59 PM

We have, in D.C., but you cannot carry a gun anywhere near it.

Rix on June 16, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Can you imagine how many Americans valery will have to get kidnapped/captured by muzzies all over the world, to release these gitmo dirtbags ?
burrata on June 16, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Oh boy, this is going to be hard…

[takes off shoes and socks...]

Let’s see…Tali5 = 1 American deserter, so there’s what, like 200 at Gitmo? Heck, use 200 any way–makes the math easier…so we have 5:1…wait, how many American civilians does it take to equal one American deserter?

[consults Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) roster...]

Let’s see…almost 70 in CPC, so that would make ratio like 5:70…so…um…[erases figure...carry the 1...divide by...]

42.

Newtie and the Beauty on June 16, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Two-thirds? Yep, seems about right given that the country is being run and ruined by 33% of the most idiotic leftists in the nation.

To ANYONE in the 33%, tell me where exactly do you plan on putting the gentle kittens currently IN Gitmo? You willing to have a few of them bunk in with you? They can babysit your kids for you while you’re out.

Morons.

Meople on June 16, 2014 at 3:09 PM

The creep in the photo, TaliPa.

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Lock them up and throw away the key. Keep it open as long as it takes to store all that scum.

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 3:30 PM

42.

Newtie and the Beauty on June 16, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Then, there are those big ones , like KSM and the blind sheikh. Now that valery canNot get an ambassador killed again,
maybe POTUSbrain will have to use a congressman to get the blind one free. Maybe someone like Pelosi will volunteer to be captured .
As for KSM, since he was the one who finally finished the job ,
someone of much higher stature will be needed to volunteer,
someone like Antony Abedin maybe ?

burrata on June 16, 2014 at 3:32 PM

That father creeps me out.

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Well, he admired what the head of Red China was able to do.

formwiz on June 16, 2014 at 3:42 PM

The question is this – can they arrest them faster than obama releases them?

Schadenfreude on June 16, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Nope. Obumble’s pen is mightier and swifter than a Spaniard.

hawkeye54 on June 16, 2014 at 3:47 PM

That father creeps me out.

bluegill on June 16, 2014 at 3:41 PM

To me, no more so than most of Obumble’s admin.

hawkeye54 on June 16, 2014 at 3:48 PM

That’s OK
Our new army of illiterate Mayan children will save us

TexasJew on June 16, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Of course we want Gitmo kept open, where else are we going to jail Obama and his corrupt cronies.

meci on June 16, 2014 at 3:55 PM

So, obviously, we gotta close it down. DUH. How dare we disagree with this administration!

That’s this administration’s sole reason for being, isn’t it? To impose “stuff” on our country that clearly doesn’t want it! Stimulus, Obamacare, “fairness”, releasing our enemies back to the battlefield, amnesty, out of control EPA, IRS, DOJ, GSA, VA, ATF, NSA, White House, etc.

Gymistokles on June 16, 2014 at 3:58 PM

But if we empty Gitmo, who will we have to exchange the next time a soldier betrays his country and deserts?

MaiDee on June 16, 2014 at 4:49 PM

I was surveyed in this poll. There were questions directly related to Bergdahl; wonder if those will be released?

Jackalope on June 16, 2014 at 5:49 PM

You bet – we need Gitmo. Are there others who should be housed there?

MN J on June 16, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Historically, one would argue that Obama overplayed his hand with the Bergdahl swap and now finds himself up the river. BUT this is an outlaw administration and Obama is the kind of guy who decides mid-hand that you are playing 5 card draw instead of Texas Hold-em.

deepdiver on June 16, 2014 at 6:14 PM

If all the prisoners were executed, then we can talk about closure.

virgo on June 17, 2014 at 12:20 AM

Erm, keep Gitmo open and put Obama there as an inmate.

{+_+}

herself on June 17, 2014 at 6:42 AM