White House: Debate over EITs a “distraction from the broader picture”

Obama’s favorite word rears its ugly head once again:

The chain of clues that led to the Abbottabad compound where Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. special forces early Monday began with human intelligence. Senior administration officials have said key members of bin Laden’s inner-circle were flagged by post-9/11 detainees under interrogation, and that has raised an inescapable question: Did the chain begin with information gleaned from “enhanced interrogation” or waterboarding, the Bush-era technique President Obama and CIA chief Leon Panetta have decried as torture?

The White House insists that not only is the answer unknowable, but ultimately moot. “It’s impossible to know whether information obtained by [Enhanced Interrogation Techniques] could have been obtained by other forms of interrogation,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor tells TIME. “I think this is a distraction from the broader picture, which is that this achievement was the result of years of painstaking work by our intelligence community that drew from multiple sources.”

[…]

The Obama administration is steering clear of anything declarative. Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters Tuesday that he simply doesn’t know whether EITs could have yielded vital intelligence. “There was a mosaic of sources that lead to the identification of the people,” he said. And the White House is prepared to press the “mosaic” case aggressively.

“Multiple detainees have given us insights into networks of people who might have been close to Bin Laden. And beyond detainee reporting, solid information derived from other sources over many years ultimately helped solve an incredibly complex puzzle,” Vietor says. “The bottom line is this: If we had some kind of smoking gun intelligence from waterboarding in 2003, we would have taken out Osama bin Laden in 2003. So this argument just doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

What a deceitful load of crap! That argument is not that the code name for the courier who eventually led the US to bin Laden came as a direct result of KSM’s 2003 waterboarding. What people are saying is that over time – which various news reports bear out – while KSM was in US custody in either an evil “secret prison” or the “unconstitutional” Gitmo, that the information was gleaned over a period of time, possibly under threat of another waterboarding, and most assuredly it came after one of a series of rounds of very aggressive interrogating – and not just of KSM but Abu Faraj al Libi as well.

The Obama administration, including their “spokesmen”, want people to believe that Islamofascist thugs at all levels will give up crucial information merely when “standard” interrogation techniques are used. I take that back – that’s what they’re hoping people believe as they’d prefer nothing more than for the American people to be in the dark on any number of issues because that would mean that the administration would be questioned less. The undisputable fact is that Islamic fanatics live to DIE for their “cause.” Being a martyr is the name of the game. Yeah, they want to take out as many “infidels” as possible, but they don’t mind if they go out with them, because not only do they think it will it bring “honor” to their Islamic families, but also because they believe virgins are awaiting them in Allah’s “heaven.”

Nope, these guys don’t give up information easily, which is the main reason EITs were authorized for use. The Obama administration will forever refuse to admit their gross error in judgement on the issue of President Bush’s more “controversial” counterterrorism policies, and they have good reason to. Obama’s approval ratings, prior to the OBL kill, were tanking. As a result of the news of OBL’s demise, Obama’s ratings have risen 9 points. The administration understandably wants to ride that wave into Campaign 2012 as opposed to being “distracted” by the fact that the very victory that they can credit with the surge in approval ratings was enabled, in part, thanks to the Bush doctrine policies they and their fellow liberals swore up and down were absolutely, positively not conducive to obtaining valuable, actionable intelligence.

To modify a quote from someone pretty famous, if the Obama administration is counting on conservatives to be passive in this debate, they’ve counted wrong. Very wrong.

Holder DOJ reversal in the works on civilian trial for KSM and other 9-11 co-conspirators?

Fox News is among the multiple news outlets reporting that the US AG Eric Holder has reversed course and will announce later today his decision to have confessed 9-11 terrorist mastermind KSM and other hardcore 9-11 Gitmo detainees tried in front of a military commission rather than in civilian courts:

The alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the U.S. will be referred to the Defense Department for trial, three sources familiar with the case told Fox News on Monday. 

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has been incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since 2006, after being captured in Pakistan in 2003, and five alleged Sept. 11 co-conspirators will face prosecution by a military commission in Guantanamo, a Justice Department official said. 

A formal announcement is expected by Attorney General Eric Holder later in the day. The decision is a turn-around after Holder said in November 2009 that he had decided the conspirators — Mohammed, Walid Muhammed Salih Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Bin Al Shibh, Ali Abdul-Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Al Hawsawi — should be prosecuted in civilian court.

At the time, President Obama said he left the decision to Holder. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday that the decision to reverse himself remained with Holder, but he didn’t want to get ahead of the announcement. 

“The president’s primary concern here is that the perpetrators …  of that terrible attack on the American people be brought to justice as swiftly as possible and as fairly as possible,” he said. 

[…]

J.D. Gordon, a former Defense Department spokesman for secretaries Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates, said Mohammad and the other co-conspirators were already going through the military commission process before the Obama administration halted the case. He said the administration must have realized that popular opinion was against using civilian courtrooms in the United States.

“I think they ran into the buzz saw of reality where the American public didn’t see it in their best interest to hold Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian trial where he could theoretically be acquitted there and also where he’d have a chance to have his rhetoric used against us,” Gordon said. 

“I think that to trust the civilian jury with some of the most dangerous terror suspects is really a flawed mistake,” Gordon added.

With the case now returning to the military commission, the process will start all over again. After the administration announced in 2009 it planned to move the trials to federal court, the military withdrew its charges without prejudice — an action that effectively allowed it to preserve its legal position so that if the cases returned to the commissions in the future, the men could be charged again. 

Anyone else think it’s not a coincidence that this announcement will come on the very day President Obama has officially launched his re-election campaign?  It would be kinda hard for our celebrity President while on the campaign trail to defend his indefensible position on supposedly wanting to demonstrate to the world the “fairness” of our justice system when his own AG, not to mention his former spokesdude Robert Fibbs, had already declared KSM guilty before trial.    Not only that, but Holder himself made it clear in the middle of all this that no matter whether KSM was found guilty or not, that the US would still hold him indefinitely.  Even Obama’s best spinmaestros would have a hard time trying to find a way for him to credibly wiggle out of that one.

This is a first of sorts for President Obama, as far as I can recall.  As a Senator, he was for a military trial for KSM before he was against it – before he was, apparently, for it, if news of today’s announcement holds true.  With the official launch of his re-election campaign this morning, expect more of this in the months to come as the President tries to pull one Bill Clinton triangulation move after another in his quest for four more years in office.  He’s fooled the masses once before – don’t think he won’t try to do it again.

Reality bites: Obama administration prepares to resume BAU at Gitmo

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.

Obama admin preparing executive order authorizing “parole board” of sorts for Gitmo detainees

Another symbolic but for all intents and purposes meaningless gesture from Team Obama who are essentially doing the same thing candidate Obama blasted President Bush for on the issue of indefinite detention:

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s advisers have been drafting an executive order that would set up a system for periodically reviewing the cases of Guantánamo prisoners whom courts have approved for detention without trial, officials said.

Administration officials are apparently planning to meet this week to debate the details of the draft order, which has not yet gone to the president for approval. In broad strokes, it would establish something like a parole board to evaluate whether each detainee poses a continued threat, or whether he can be safely transferred to another country.

One administration official said that such an order has long been under consideration, noting that Mr. Obama had described the need for such a process in a May 2009 speech when he laid out a plan in which some detainees would likely continue to be held without ever going to trial because they were too dangerous to release but too difficult to prosecute.

“We must have clear, defensible and lawful standards for those who fall in this category,” Mr. Obama said in that speech, which he delivered at the National Archives. “We must have fair procedures so that we don’t make mistakes. We must have a thorough process of periodic review, so that any prolonged detention is carefully evaluated and justified.”

The existence of the draft executive order was first reported on the Web sites of The Washington Post and ProPublica on Tuesday evening. Several administration officials confirmed its outlines and offered additional details.

The proposal would replace the “annual review boards” that the Bush administration had used to revisit its decision to hold each prisoner. Under that system, which the Obama administration shut down, a panel of military officers periodically reviewed the accusations against and talked to each prisoner who wanted to participate. The prisoners were not represented by lawyers. Officers then decided whether a prisoner was still a threat or should be released.

The Obama proposal, by contrast, would establish a “periodic review board” drawn from many agencies, not just the military, and modeled on a parole board, one official said. Detainees would be represented by lawyers and would have greater access to some of the evidence against them.

Among the details yet to be determined are how often each detainee’s files would be reviewed, and how often he would receive a full-blown hearing.

The Bush administration set up its annual review board system during its unsuccessful fight to prevent the Supreme Court from granting the detainees a right to have their cases reviewed by federal judges, who could ultimately order their release if the evidence against them was weak.

The Obama administration’s proposal, by contrast, would supplement such habeas corpus hearings in court. While judges would determine whether it was lawful to hold someone as a wartime detainee — because he is part of Al Qaeda or the Taliban — the review boards would determine whether it was necessary to do so, one official explained.

So essentially what we have here for the 48 Gitmo detainees who are too dangerous to let go and too difficult to prosecute is the Bush administration’s review panel under a different name: Parole board.  Very similar concept  – just a different group of people doing the judging.

But wait, Sistah  They’ll have access to a lawyer and some of the evidence used against them … right?

Sounds like it, according the proposed EO, but remember all the hoopla and drama surrounding the suggestion that KSM be tried in NYC in an effort to “show the world” how fair our justice system was/is?  He was going to have that lawyer and evidence access, too – but as it turns out, Attorney General Eric Holder made a mockery of the US justice system and showed the Obama admin/DOJ’s rationale for a potential trial in NYC to be a complete farce when he announced last year that KSM would be held indefinitely no matter the verdict, just not at Gitmo but instead possibly Bagram airfield in Afghanistan. Flashback:

Mr. Holder made it clear that by moving Mr. Mohammed to a prison offshore – such as Bagram in Afghanistan, where hundreds of detainees are held – a release order could be circumvented.

“We have taken the view that the judiciary does not have the ability necessarily to certainly require us to, with people who are held overseas, to release them,” he said.

“It’s hard for me to imagine a set of circumstances, given the other things that we could do with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed” that would result in him being freed,” the Attorney-General said.

“Under the regime we are contemplating … the ability to detain under laws of war, we would retain that ability,” Mr. Holder added, meaning anyone freed by the courts could simply be returned as an enemy combatant to indefinite military detention.

Rule of law? What’s that? To this administration and DOJ, it means, “What the Bush administration did to protect American citizens, just under a different name.”  Current detainees at Gitmo may have access to that lawyer and evidence, but that doesn’t mean a thing if “the system” is rigged so that they will stay there indefinitely anyway, regardless of the outcome of any “parole board hearing.”  That is essentially what the Obama DOJ has argued in the past, and is pretty much what the Bush DOJ argued a President – as CIC – could do.  But when Bush did it, it was supposedly a “black eye” on America in the eyes of the world,  and Bush’s doing it “created more terrorists” – if you listened to the whining from the elite left.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m glad the Obama administration has more or less seen the light when it comes to holding the worst of the worst indefinitely during a time of war without trial.   As Commander in Chief, a President has that authority – as President Bush did and as other wartime Presidents did before him.  What infuriates me is that once again we have a situation where this administration is offering up a symbolic gesture to make it look like they’re trying to “clearly distinguish” themselves from the “reckless” counterterrorism policies of the previous administration, where in reality they’re basically doing the same thing – there’s just a “new sheriff” in town, so to speak.  

Will he be called out on this by the mainstream media who, along with “outraged” left wingers in Congress and Euro elites elsewhere, ripped President Bush a new one for his policies on the indefinite detention of terrorists captured in the battlefield? Don’t count on it.

Scott Brown to Joe Biden: Don’t lecture me on military law

The week is not starting off on a good note for the VP. First, former Veep Dick Cheney yesterday blasted various Obama admin counterterrorism arguments Biden has been making on the past couple of weeks on issues like Iraq and the so-called “Christmas Day bomber,” and now, Biden has Senator Scott Brown (R-MA!) to contend with (via Memeorandum):

Sen. Scott Brown thinks Vice President Joe Biden was “off base” when he suggested Sunday that the Massachusetts Republican get his facts straight on the legal procedures for military tribunals.

“It was insulting,” said Brown, who frequently jabbed the administration during his Senate campaign for giving suspected terrorists legal representation.

On CBS’s “Face the Nation” last weekend, Biden shot back that he doesn’t “know whether the new senator from Massachusetts understands: When you get tried in a military tribunal, you get a lawyer, too.”

“He’s trying to give me a lesson on military law, and I didn’t think it was appropriate,” Brown told POLITICO. “And I thought he was off base when it comes to explaining to the American people that somehow I need a lesson on whether people get attorneys — of course they get attorneys. There’s a difference as to what type of attorney they’re going to get and when they’re going to get that attorney, and how are they treated, and what rights do they, in fact, get.”

Brown said he is particularly incensed by Biden’s remarks because he’s served in the Massachusetts Army National Guard for more than 30 years and is currently the Guard’s top defense attorney in New England.

“I know the military rules and regulations and procedures from A to Z,” Brown said.

I suspect he knows them much better than our current Commander in Chief, who is allegedly a “Constitutional law expert” of sorts.

Biden really should get back to things he understands better, oh, like being the “stimulus czar.” Or something. 8-|

Brennan: 20% recidivism rate for Gitmo terrorists “isn’t that bad”

ABC News’ Jake Tapper reports on some disturbing comments made over the weekend by counterterrorism “czar” John Brennan on the recidivism rate for Gitmo detainees:

Comments by John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, at the Islamic Center at New York University on Saturday, are drawing fire and have prompted at least one call for his resignation by a Republican senator.

At one point, Brennan was asked about a recent assessment from the intelligence community that 20 percent of detainees transferred from Guantanamo are confirmed or suspected of recidivist activity, as Brennan confirmed in a letter to Congress earlier this month.

Earlier this month in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Brennan used that figure and pointed out about the 20 percent recidivism rate that “all of these cases relate to detainees released during the previous administration and under the prior detainee review process. The report indicates no confirmed or suspected recidivists among detainees transferred during this administration, although we recognize the ongoing risk that detainees could engage in such activity.”

Shayana Kadidal of the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative at the Center for Constitutional Rights challenged that figure, saying that his organization believes fewer than half a dozen former Guantanamo detainees have gotten involved in “any criminal activity.”

Brennan stood by the figure, calling the assessment “very rigorous,” though he acknowledged it’s “very difficult to get precise figures” on recidivism.

“People sometimes use that figure, 20 percent, say ‘Oh my goodness, one out of five detainees returned to some type of extremist activity,'” Brennan said. “You know, the American penal system, the recidivism rate is up to something about 50 percent or so, as far as return to crime. Twenty percent isn’t that bad.”

Brennan added, “Many of these detainees have returned, have engaged not just extremism, but terrorist attacks. It is something that we have to look at very carefully.”

He said the Obama administration has a “more rigorous review” than did the Bush administration before detainees are transferred.

A couple of things. First, it’s not shocking to any of us who follow this administration closely that Brennan is using the now classic, standard “blame Bush” line on the issue of recidivism as it relates to the release of Gitmo terrorists without failing to provide the context as to why the Bush administration had to release Gitmo terrorists in the first place, which I wrote about in depth last month:

Um, um, but wasn’t the whole “controversy” surrounding Gitmo, as we were told by Obama and other self-serving Democrats and various “human rights” groups across the globe, was that we had to “close” Gitmo and either try the prisoners who were there or release them? Yes, I believe it was. Not only that, but as I wrote about a week ago, it wasn’t Bush who wanted to close down Gitmo, but he didn’t have a choice after all the whining and handwringing by the left, including the bleeding heart liberal lawyers -including some at AG Holder’s law firm – who defended some of the detainees, defenses that culminated into a couple of SCOTUS rulings that essentially forced the Bush administration to have to release Gitmo prisoners. The precise reason the administration didn’t want them to be released is due to the fear that they’d go right back to what they’re doing. But the left wouldn’t listen to reason. It was all about playing politics with our national security, and nothing more. And now the chickens have come home to roost.

In short, if it weren’t for bleeding heart left wingers like the Eric Holders and Barack Obamas of this world who got their knickers in a twist over so-called “terrorist rights,” then the Gitmo thugs wouldn’t have been released to go back to a life of Islamofascist terrorism in the first place. Blaming Bush is just a convenient fallback for them to cover up their own significant, shameless part in that 20% recidivism rate.

As far as Brennan’s comments on the 20% recidivism rate not being “that bad,” I agree with Ed Morrissey:

[Senator Lindsey] Graham can’t even wait for [Fox News Sunday’s Chris] Wallace to finish the sentence to demand Brennan’s firing, and he’s right. The comparison between recidivism rates for “pickpockets”, the example used by Wallace, and terrorists is a complete non-sequitur. No one expects pickpockets or armed robbers to locked up for life on their first conviction, but terrorism is an entirely different manner. Americans don’t have to face the consequences of a 20% recidivism rate for foreign terrorists captured during a war unless our government gives them that opportunity by treating them like pickpockets. That’s apparently Brennan’s approach, and Barack Obama’s too for that matter.

Exactly. It’s the pre-9/11 mentality all over again, and it’s a mentality that doesn’t just start with Brennan but in fact goes all the way to the top to the President himself. Brennan should step down or be asked, ahem, politely to resign but many more who share this view within the administration need to go, too, via the same process. And if they’re elected officials, as is the case with O’Biden, November 2012 will provide the American people with the opportunity to right the wrong done in November 2008 with the election of this duncetastic duo.

It’s a long way off, but hopefully the results will be well worth the wait.

Robert Gibbs: KSM will be “tried, convicted, and likely executed,” will “meet his maker”

Via MSDNC:

WASHINGTON – Accused Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is likely to be executed after being tried and convicted, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Sunday.

Gibbs spoke on CNN’s “State of the Union.” The Obama administration has begun looking for places other than the heart of New York City to prosecute Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators in the face of fierce criticism tied to security and costs.

Here’s video of Gibbs’ remarks to a surprisingly and refreshingly aggressive John King on CNN:

Bbbbut what about the whole “fair trial” thing the administration has been pushing since the news that KSM will be tried on American soil first broke? I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I actually find myself (mostly) agreeing with something written at the ultra-liberal Firedoglake blog by Democrat attorney Cynthia Kouril:

More STUPID, STUPID, STUPID

White House press spokesman Robert Gibbs just said that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) would likely be executed after trial and conviction. WTF?!?

Am I the only person left who still remembers a legal concept called presumption of innocence? Am I the only one who remembers that the whole point of a trial is that the outcome is not certain?

Listen Gibbs, do NOT insult the prosecutors who are about to work their asses off trying to put together a winning criminal case. Do NOT insult the hardworking defense counsel who are going to put thousands of hours into making sure that KSM gets due process. Do NOT insult the excellent federal judges of SDNY by suggesting that any one of them would preside over a kangaroo court. Do NOT insult our entire criminal justice system.

In a real trial, the outcome is not known before the trial occurs. Further, much of the information in the hands of the government which will be used at trial against KSM should currently be Grand Jury Material, subject to secrecy under Rule 6e. Which means that you, Robert Gibbs, cannot legally know exactly what that evidence might be. So, how could you possibly know if KSM is going to be convicted? How do you know that?

Then again, this isn’t and never was going to be a “real trial” to begin with: AG Eric Holder has already admitted, without even realizing it, that the “fair trial” angle was a complete farce.

Ms. Kouril likely wants KSM to get a true fair trial in a civilian court with due process and all that, while I think he should be tried in a military tribunal in Gitmo because he is not an American citizen who should be afforded any Constitutional “rights.” Not only that, but he’s a confessed terrorist who has already boastfully admitted his guilt. But even with those differences in her beliefs and mine, she’s dead on on one thing: No one in the administration should be pre-determining anyone’s guilt before a trial has been conducted, especially when they’re routinely preaching about the “fairness of the US justice system” and how the legal process must “run its course.”

When even liberals start to see through the joke that is the rationale for the Obama’s/Holder’s decision to try admitted terrorists in civilian court on US soil, you know the administration is in trouble. They’ve already backed down on having the trial in NYC, but will they back down, also, on trying KSM on American soil at all? Gibbs hedged when asked about that by John King, but I seriously doubt they will – in spite of rumors to the contrary. They’ve got too much already invested in trying to “show the world that the American justice system can be fair even to terrorists” to turn back now. Not only that, but there’s also the whole putting the Bush admin on trial by proxy thing, which they wouldn’t give up for anything – not even in the interests of our national security.

The only question is: When will the rest of the world start waking up, too, to see that the KSM trial will be nothing but a pathetic show trial that will aid Al Qaeda more than it will “repair” our standing with European elites? Or will they remain as clueless as this administration has been? Clueless and, I should add, dangerous.

Cross-posted to Right Wing News, where I am helping guestblog for John Hawkins on Sundays.

“Senior” Obama admin official claims that Gitmo recidivism rate is Bush’s fault

Plum Line’s Greg Sargent excitedly reports on an unverifiable claim he received from a “senior Obama administration official” on the issue of Gitmo recidivism:

One of the big stories of the morning — echoed widely by the news orgs and on the right — is that new government stats show that 20 percent of Gitmo detainees who have been released are thought to have returned to extremist activity. The story is expected to make it tougher to close Gitmo.

But what if all those detainees were released under Bush, and not under Obama?

That’s the case that was made to me by a senior Obama administration official. He claimed that the administration doesn’t believe that any of the detainees released under Obama have gone into terror-related activity — because the Obama administration has a better screening process in place to determine which detainees pose a threat.

The story in question involves a new and classified Pentagon report that says roughly one-fifth of released detainees are suspected or confirmed to have returned to terrorist activity — up from a lower estimate in April.

But the senior official says the report shouldn’t reflect badly on Obama policy. “We have been presented with no information that suggests that any of the detainees transferred by this administration have returned to the fight,” the official says.

The official suggested that the possibility that all the recividists were released under Bush shows that the previous administration didn’t do the work of screening detainees slated for release that the Obama administration is doing.

“The President created the Guantanamo Review Task Force to conduct the thorough work that had not been done before: to review the relevant information about each detainee, including the threat they pose, to determine whether they should be prosecuted, detained, or transferred,” the official says.

Um, um, but wasn’t the whole “controversy” surrounding Gitmo, as we were told by Obama and other self-serving Democrats and various “human rights” groups across the globe, was that we had to “close” Gitmo and either try the prisoners who were there or release them? Yes, I believe it was. Not only that, but as I wrote about a week ago, it wasn’t Bush who wanted to close down Gitmo, but he didn’t have a choice after all the whining and handwringing by the left, including the bleeding heart liberal lawyers -including some at AG Holder’s law firm – who defended some of the detainees, defenses that culminated into a couple of SCOTUS rulings that essentially forced the Bush administration to have to release Gitmo prisoners. The precise reason the administration didn’t want them to be released is due to the fear that they’d go right back to what they’re doing. But the left wouldn’t listen to reason. It was all about playing politics with our national security, and nothing more. And now the chickens have come home to roost.

Yet today the admin trying to blame the Bush administration for the fact that some of the Gitmo prisioners they released went back to doing what they do best – which is exactly what worried the administration the most, which is exactly what the left cared nothing about while using Gitmo as a political tool to bash Bush both on a national and international scale. And besides, the Obama administration is trying to take credit for the ‘care’ they’ve taken in the Gitmo prisoner reviewing process exactly why? Ed Morrissey wonders the same thing:

Er, how much does it matter when Obama has determined to release all of the remaining Yemenis anyway? The administration isn’t being choosy at all. They only began releasing Yemenis a few weeks ago, and stopped after getting embarrassed when the EunuchBomber attack made the situation in Yemen impossible to dismiss. Until then, though, the White House had insisted publicly that they would eventually turn over all of the Yemenis except any involved in chargeable “crimes” back to the nearly-failed state of Yemen.

Not only that, but this “senior” official would have everyone believing that the administration actually plans on indefinitely detaining numerous Gitmo prisoners that have not been prosecuted. Read this line again:

“The President created the Guantanamo Review Task Force to conduct the thorough work that had not been done before: to review the relevant information about each detainee, including the threat they pose, to determine whether they should be prosecuted, detained, or transferred,” the official says.

Excuse me, but wasn’t indefinite detention without trial one of the main complaints the left threw out at Bush on the issue of Guantanamo Bay? Hell yes it was. Yet this guy is saying the “task force” will determine whether or not detainees should be prosecuted, detained, or transfered. If they had a choice in this all along as to whether or not to detain without trial Gitmo terrorists who they deemed high value enough to detain indefinitely, then why the heck didn’t they choose to detain KSM on that basis? After all, they’ve said they’re going to do that anyway, regardless of whatever the outcome of his “fair” NYC trial is, right?

I sure as hell wish this administration could get their facts and stories straight. I also wish they’d make up their damned minds. I also wish that for once, just once, that they would stop blaming everyone else for their own missteps. Obama’s “buck stops with me” remark from earlier today just doesn’t cut it. It’s typical of juvenile narcissists like the ones we have in this administration – and typical of salivating supporters like Andrew Sullivan, who buys the “it’s Bush’s fault” argument by this senior official to a “T” – to blame everyone but themselves when something goes wrong, which can be a deadly attitude to take in these uncertain times because when you blame everyone else for your problems, that means you’re not accepting responsibility and therefore won’t find any need to engage in any meaningful corrective action to try and prevent the problem from happening again. IOW, you don’t learn from your mistakes when you continually shove responsiblity for them onto someone else.

Will this administration ever learn?

CIA agents’ identities exposed to terrorists by Gitmo lawyers and the ACLU

I am speechless (via Stop the ACLU):

Detainees Shown CIA Officers’ Photos
Justice Dept. Looking Into Whether Attorneys Broke Law at Guantanamo

The Justice Department recently questioned military defense attorneys at Guantanamo Bay about whether photographs of CIA personnel, including covert officers, were unlawfully provided to detainees charged with organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

Investigators are looking into allegations that laws protecting classified information were breached when three lawyers showed their clients the photographs, the sources said. The lawyers were apparently attempting to identify CIA officers and contractors involved in the agency’s interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects in facilities outside the United States, where the agency employed harsh techniques.

If detainees at the U.S. military prison in Cuba are tried, either in federal court or by a military commission, defense lawyers are expected to attempt to call CIA personnel to testify.

The photos were taken by researchers hired by the John Adams Project, a joint effort of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, to support military counsel at Guantanamo Bay, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the inquiry. It was unclear whether the Justice Department is also examining those organizations.

Both groups have long said that they will zealously investigate the CIA’s interrogation program at “black sites” worldwide as part of the defense of their clients. But government investigators are now looking into whether the defense team went too far by allegedly showing the detainees the photos of CIA officers, in some cases surreptitiously taken outside their homes.

Where’s the mother freaking outrage? Ed Morrissey responds:

I recall a large number of people arguing a few years ago that the unmasking of Valerie Plame amounted to treason. I wonder if the same people making that argument about the leak of her identity as a CIA analyst (by Colin Powell aide Richard Armitage to the late Robert Novak) will remain consistent in this case. After all, here we have Americans exposing field agents at their homes, and not to a journalist — but to the enemy. If Plame’s exposure was treason, then this should be a hanging offense, no?

I will not hold my breath waiting for the duplicitous left to howl with rage day in and day out over this news in the same way they did over Valerie Plame’s alleged “outing.” It simply doesn’t fit in with their agenda: they can’t blame it on “the right,” they can’t pin it on Karl Rove or Bush, and – let’s face it – many of the same lefties who were supposedly so enraged over the “outing” of Valerie Plame were harsh critics of CIA tactics and cheerleaders for detainee lawyers during the Bush administration and remain so today, so I suspect there’s a lot of secret glee being felt by the same hypocrites who argued so forcefully during pLamegate about how it was so important to protect the cover of covert CIA agents in the field in the interests of both our national security and the personal safety of the agents involved.

Liars all. Disgusting.

Senate rebukes Obama on Gitmo

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.