Right on the heels of the Politico story I wrote about earlier in which we learned that this administration was taking a more aggressive approach than past administrations when it comes to prosecuting so-called “whistleblowers” who leak information to the press that could jeopardize our national security comes this story on the “restarting” of Gitmo Bay from the Washington Post:
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama approved Monday the resumption of military trials for detainees at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ending a two-year ban.
It was the latest acknowledgement that the detention facility Obama had vowed to shut down within a year of taking office will remain open for some time to come. But even while announcing a resumption of military commission trials, Obama reaffirmed his support for trying terror suspects in U.S. federal courts – something that’s met vehement resistance on Capitol Hill.
“I strongly believe that the American system of justice is a key part of our arsenal in the war against al-Qaida and its affiliates, and we will continue to draw on all aspects of our justice system – including Article III courts – to ensure that our security and our values are strengthened,” the president said in a statement.
The White House also reiterated that the administration remains committed to eventually closing Guantanamo Bay, though Monday’s actions didn’t seem to bring that outcome any closer.
Under Obama’s order, Defense Secretary Robert Gates will rescind his January 2009 ban against bringing new cases against the terror suspects at the detention facility.
Closure of the facility has become untenable because of questions about where terror suspects would be held. Lawmakers object to their transfer to U.S. federal courts, and Gates recently told lawmakers that it has become very difficult to release detainees to other countries because Congress has made that process more complicated.
And, as a friendly reminder, it’s not just Republican lawmakers who are opposed to bringing Gitmo’s most dangerous onto US soil to face “civilian trials.”
Former Congressman/ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), one of the more outspoken critics of President Obama’s counterterrorism approach, wrote earlier at National Review Online:
It is amazing. After 16 months of review we end up at essentially the same place we started. After years of harshly criticizing President Bush, President Obama now continues his policies. The least he could do is say “I’m sorry” or “Thank you.”
How about just a good ol’ fashioned, “I was wrong”?
I know. Cold day in hell.