Senate rebukes Obama on Gitmo

Posted by: ST on May 20, 2009 at 12:54 pm

No plan, no money, they say:

The Senate voted on Wednesday to yank money for closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp from a war spending bill, delivering a setback to President Obama in his efforts to shutter the prison by the start of 2010.

By a vote of 90-6, the Senate approved an amendment that not only blocks supplemental funds from being used to close Guantanamo and move detainees to U.S. soil, but also orders that no funds already in U.S. coffers be redirected toward that purpose.

Sen. Dan Inouye, D-Hawaii, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said the vote to strip the $80 million Obama had wanted should not be seen as a rebuke to the administration but a “wake up call.”

He said it is “up to the administration to fashion a plan that can win the support of the American people and members of Congress.”

Obama is trying to do exactly that with a speech Thursday meant to shed light on how the administration expects to transfer 240 detainees off the island. He wants to keep Democratic unrest from derailing his plans to close the detention camp.

The speech already appears to be overdue, considering the resistance and mixed messages coming from top-ranking Democrats over the issue on Capitol Hill.

The amendment Wednesday also precludes the upgrade of any U.S. facility or the building of any new facility to house detainees. The supplemental bill on which senators are voting lasts until the new budget year, which starts on Oct 1.

The amendments complicating Guantanamo closure don’t stop there. This afternoon, the Senate is expected to vote on an amendment from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that would mandate a U.S. threat assessment for every single detainee at Gitmo.

On top of this – more bad news for Obama:

A federal judge says the United States can continue to hold some prisoners at Guantanamo Bay indefinitely without any charges.

U.S. District Judge John Bates’ opinion issued Tuesday night limited the Obama administration’s definition of who can be held. But he said Congress in the days after Sept. 11, 2001 gave the president the authority to hold anyone involved in planning, aiding or carrying out the terrorist attacks.

Just how did the GOP beat Obama on Gitmo? Byron York has an analysis.

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8 Responses to “Senate rebukes Obama on Gitmo”

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  1. Neo says:

    FBI chief Robert Mueller Wednesday undermined President Barack Obama’s plan to close the Guantanamo Bay prison by warning that detainees could fuel terrorism if transferred to US soil.

    “The concerns we have about individuals who may support terrorism being in the United States run from concerns about providing financing to terrorists, radicalizing others,” Mueller told a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.

    The threat of Guantanamo detainees “radicalizing” others would apply even if they were held in maximum-security prisons on the US mainland, the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation indicated.

    The seems to only one flaw with this story .. Obama doesn’t have a plan to undermine, only a deadline.

  2. NC Cop says:

    They will pay for their insolence to the Messiah…..oh yes……..they will pay!!!

  3. Running the country is not nearly as easy as the previous 43 presidents made it look, eh?

    And the pollyana gobbledygook Obama laid on the left to get himself elected was never going to work in reality- a fact that the calculating opportunist Obama likely knew well- back when he was promising them the moon and the stars.

  4. Leslie says:

    What responsible legislative body would appropriate funds for something that doesn’t have a plan?

    Congress has acted responsibly, I believe.

  5. Brian says:

    What responsible legislative body would appropriate funds for something that doesn’t have a plan?

    This is Congress you’re talking about. And a Democrat-controlled one, to boot. They never have a plan when it comes to spending money, they just spend it. Thus, decades of deficit spending.

  6. Carlos says:

    He said it is “up to the administration to fashion a plan that can win the support of the American people and members of Congress.”

    Which is it, Senator Inouye? Do you want a real plan that has the support of the American people, or more pig crap that will win the support of members of Congress?