-By Warner Todd Huston
In an interesting development the House Armed Services Committee unanimously approved of legislation that would block Gitmo, Illinois from coming to fruition. In fact, they’ve blocked any Gitmo terrorist from being transferred anywhere into the interior of the USA. This is a blow to Obama’s desires to shut Gitmo down and to bring terrorists to a prison near you.
Wednesday the committee approved a defense bill for 2011 that includes language to prevent moving detainees into any US facility inside our borders and also blocked any funding to even study the possibility.
The bill does, however, state that the Secretary of Defense must submit to Congress a full report that “adequately justifies” any such proposal in the future which seems to signal that they haven’t shut the door on the possibility of a later opening of a detainee facility inside US borders.
This would appear to be a case of Congress telling the president that he overstepped his position when he announced that he had the power to transfer terrorists to the states.
You might recall that that in December of 2009, Barack Obama’s Justice Department issued a memo authorizing the transfer to Illinois of terror suspects being housed at Guantanamo Bay. In December, Obama tried to invoke his powers as commander-in-chief of America’s armed forces as the authority by which he could commandeer the Thomson Correctional facility in Illinois and place Gitmo terror suspects there for housing. This was a desperate effort not to make the lie to his 2009 executive order setting a Jan. 2010 deadline for shutting down the Guantanamo facility — a deadline he’s missed badly.
But now Congress is slapping his hand and telling him that “memo” or no, he can’t transfer terrorists to facilities inside US borders and even if he thinks he does have that power, Congress won’t pay for it all.
Amusingly, the New York Times tried to spin this as the Republican’s fault. After noting that Obama missed his own self-imposed, one-year deadline to close Gitmo, The Times tries to make readers think that this newest setback it is all because of those mean ol’ Republicans that are blocking Obama’s valiant efforts.
Mr. Obama had declared he would close the prison within a year of taking office. The administration argues that Guantánamo is a symbol used for terrorism recruitment, so closing it would enhance national security.
But many Republicans have maintained that Guantánamo should stay open, arguing that the Thomson plan would waste money and create a national-security risk. Some libertarians also oppose institutionalizing indefinite detentions without trial on domestic soil.
Newsflash, NYT, this approval to block Gitmo, Illinois was unanimous. If you need help with that big word it means all the Democrats on the committee voted to block their own president’s Gitmo plans. And this is not to mention that the Democrats control Congress and could easily have approved of Obama’s plans if they had wanted to.
The more interesting story, NYT, might be to ask why all the Democrats voted to block Obama on this. I guess that is too much like work for the Times, though.
So, no Gitmo, Illinois any time in the near future. Now, I wonder if the extreme left will begin to call Obama a war criminal and torturer for not closing Gitmo like they did Bush for all those years? Do you hear that? It’s crickets. They love the sound of crickets in the morning.