Surprise: Senate Dems cancel funding to close Gitmo

Just like the House did a week ago. I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t grasp the politics of this initially because I didn’t think they’d cave so quickly to the pro-Gitmo side; after watching them cave on waterboarding after 9/11 and then the Iraq war, I should have known they’d buckle once another tough security decision landed on their desks.

They still want to close it — eventually, just like Jim Webb. They’re just suddenly wary of having hardcore terrorists in their own backyards — again, just like Jim Webb.

With debate looming on Obama’s spending request to cover military and diplomatic operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the official says Democrats will deny the Pentagon and Justice Department $80 million to relocate Guantanamo’s 240 detainees…

It appears to be a tactical retreat. Once the administration develops a plan to close the facility, congressional Democrats are likely to revisit the topic, provided they are satisfied there are adequate safeguards.

The developments on Capitol Hill came as the Pentagon said it still expects the prison at Guantanamo Bay to be closed by January 2010 as Obama has ordered.

Credit Jim Inhofe for making the Dems choke on this by pushing legislation prohibiting the transfer of detainees to the U.S. Here he is on the scene at Gitmo in February.