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The Gitmo report

Submitted by Simon on Sat, 02/21/2009 - 1:08pm

The Pentagon has concluded that the Guantanamo facility by-and-large meets the obligations of the Geneva Convention. That finding - in a report ordered by President Obama - has been challenged, naturally, but assume accuracy for present purposes. Ann Althouse observes that Obama "first promised to close the place and then got the study showing the facts relevant to the question whether it should be closed? Let's see if he can say now, as he has before, I screwed up." (Emphases and link in original.)

I see no need for such a concession by the President. The report says nothing about his promise to close the detention facility unless one assumes that his decision had anything to do with the facility's meeting the Convention's standards vel non. It seems to me that the order to close the Camp X-Ray facility has two primary motivations. First, it has become, to critics of American policy around the world, a symbol of the Bush administration's approach to the war on terror. Closing it sends a signal to the rest of the world that the new administration is repudiating the policies of its predecessor. And second, Obama promised his supporters that he would close it (indeed, it could be argued that he owes his nomination to that promise). With so many other campaign promises broken or about to be broken, he has to keep at least some campaign promises, and keeping this one fits in with his own agenda and serves a legitimate policy goal (such as (1)). Neither of these reasons hinge on anything that actually happens at the facility.

Yeah, I think that's about right. While the authenticity of the

report will indeed be challenged, and he will doubtless continue to be mocked by his critics for this (and anything else he does), one could argue that the legality review had more to do with possible prosecutions, rather than the rightness of the facility's continued operations. As you said, te whole idea of the facility basically represents the Bush approach to the GWOT, and closing it allows Obama to transition to his approach.

Also, perhaps this review is just another tool in which Obama will use in order to help create the replacement for Gitmo, the one e's supposed to do in a year, that is.

Of course, it's entirely possible that the challenge to this report will come for the Obama administraion itself, although that will put Obama at odds with his own Pentagon, so that could be problematic. It all remains to be seen.

Oh, and not to nitpick Simon, but by my count, I only count one major campaign promise that Obama has broken, and that was the one about the five-day wait on signing bills. I only addressed that, because you make it seem like he's broken more. As to future, we'll have to wait and see.

I could list several promises

I could list several promises Obama has not followed through on Raf.

One is that his new approach would change a problem Obama blamed Bush for -the problem in Afghanistan. Here Talking so far has produced only a new push against us from our adversaries. Just see how Russia has acted since Obama made a nice gesture. Same with Assad, Hugo, Ahamdinejad, Hamas, Hizb'Allah, NK, the Taliban etc.

As for Simon's post, WAPO has an article today that spends considerable bandwidth trying to suggest Gitmo created and released a terrorist detainee as an op-ed pre-emptive strike against the growing calls to reconsider what Simon has shown to be a political move on Gitmo. Facts, it seems, must fit the

No lobbyists, higher standards of transparency and qualifications, reform of free trade, bipartisanship, stronger workplace enforcement (yet end e-verify?), accountability, no earmarks, etc. etc.
We won't have to wait too much longer as Iran is now said to have that new enrichment facility I talked about. They have enough material to make a bomb, have launched a ballistic missile and reports now confirm they admitted killing soldiers in Iraq (Kyl Bill Obama?) and would stop in exchange for Bush letting them go forward with nuke program. Bush said nyet. Syria also has been found to have missed some radiactive material in their clean up of site Israel bombed last year. Perhaps Obama will tell us what consitutues preventing Iran from getting a bomb. What would be "talking" to Hamas? What would be the signs that talking has produced positive results?

Well, you get the idea and the clock is ticking.....

Just to clarify,

while you're right that I'm ascribing Obama's decision to political motivations, I don't mean to insinuate that the decision is therefore illegitimate. There's a perfectly respectable argument to be made for deferring to our allies' sensibilities as a tool of diplomacy, although in my own view, I don't think that on balance it prevails here.

Oh, I completely agree.

Oh, I completely agree. There are of course the risks associated with deferring to our allies, but political capital was necessary in light of stagnant foreign policy. Allies? In the case of Germany (the most-liked country in the world according to BBC), their top corporations are selling Iran just about anything they want. If they cut trade, Iran would feel the pinch. In Afghanistan, Germany also doesn't want to be anywhere near the shooting. Obama is deferring to Liberal sensibilities here more than seeking help abroad. EU just turned Obama down.

I think Putin had the quote of the week so far. He warned the US (Obama/Pelosi/Reid) for reaching towards socialist solutions. He acknowledged the failure of Soviet Central Planning and Big Government. It was odd hearing former KGB lecture us on Individual Innovation and Capitalism. He obviously finds our plight in Afghanistan an opportunity and an amusement.

Gitmo? I guess Putin can tell Obama all about Gulag which apparently media here confuses with Gitmo.

Point taken, Max.

I'll cede to you that he has broken a few. Small in the grand scheme, but still.

OT -- sorry!

Simon, please forgive an OT question, but I notice that you are not on Twitter. Clearly, the Simons with your name there are not you, nor Stubborn_Facts. I only just joined during the Oscars, and really, Twitter is not the same without. :)


wow, stop arguing, there are

wow, stop arguing, there are ore important things to worry about, like the acuall people in Gitmo, seriously, im 16, grow up

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