Closing Gitmo: Easier said than done

One of President Barack Obama’s first actions as president was to sign an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison for terrorist detainees in Cuba within a year. There have been many allegations of mistreatment of prisoners and one of Obama’s campaign promises was to immediately close down the facility. As it is with most campaign promises, however, saying the facility will be closed is much easier than actually closing it. There are still many questions about what to do with prisoners and whether some prisoners should still be held. The longer these questions go unanswered, the more the pressure builds on Democrats to take care of their promises.

President Obama had requested from the House $81 million to take care of the closing of the facilities, but House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey, a Democrat from Wisconsin who had a big hand in the stimulus bill, refused to give the White House the money because of a lack of details in Obama’s plans. Now without financial backing, there are lots of questions about what Obama can do and Republicans have jumped all over the confusion amongst Democrats.

Nobody seems to know what to do with these prisoners. Terrorists are not normal criminals and they should not be brought to the United States. They are enemy combatants out to destroy everything America believes in and they have no business being held in prisons across America. It is highly unlikely that Americans would be comfortable with terrorists being transported into areas near them. Once they are moved to America, the ACLU will file lawsuit after lawsuit on behalf of the terrorists and national intelligence secrets will be compromised. At the same time, Obama has promised transparency and he had no problem releasing the enhanced interrogation method memos.

There is a reason that these detainees have been kept at Gitmo. They are flat out dangerous and insane. No other countries want to take any of the prisoners, as Obama found out when he asked leaders at the G-20 meetings last month to hold a few of the prisoners in their own countries. If prisoners are released, it is entirely possible that the released terrorists will meet up again with al-Qaeda operatives and commit more acts of terror and violence. If a released detainee were to come back and harm Americans, Obama would be in a serious p.r. nightmare, something he has yet to experience.

Americans believed in Obama’s promise that he would close Gitmo. He talked a big game about reforming America’s image with Gitmo’s closure. Let’s see if he will be able to back up his talk.


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