Congress Security

Congress Insists Gitmo Will Remain Open

As predicted, Congress will, once again, vote to keep the prison at Guantanamo Bay open by baring the administration from transferring detainees into the United States for trial.

The panels reached a compromise on Guantánamo, where the House and Senate had competing measures on the transfer of detainees there.

The final bill will continue a prohibition on the transfer of detainees to the United States, but will ease restrictions on transfers overseas, according to aides. It will not include a restriction on transfers to Yemen that was in the House version of the bill.

While some restrictions on transferring detainees to other countries will be eased, not many countries actually want them.

As for why Congress is so adamant that detainees not be transferred state-side; depending on who you ask, the response may range anywhere from “ooga booga, I don’t want terrorists in my constituents’ back yard,” to complaints that civilian trials would be too soft on them.

It’s possible the issue could be revisited this time next year, but for now the infamous prison will remain open.

  • Unfortunately, since so many of the detainees rights have been violated and FSM knows how much of the evidence against them has been obtained (i.e., via coercion plus unreliable or secret sources who are unavailable or unable to be present at trial for testimony) the odds of actually getting a conviction in an honest criminal court might be impossible. So all that poisonous fruit will come back to haunt the prosecutors. I blame effing Bush and Co. If they’d handled this properly in the criminal courts to begin with, we wouldn’t be worried about all this kind of crap. I consider myself an expert on our Criminal Justice system (I’m also Queen of the world in my own tiny mind but I digress) and the choice to use military tactics against Al Qaeda, essentially a criminal enterprise, will go down as one of the worst mistakes in U.S. history. And how often do you see anyone on the teevees or press making this larger and crucial point. We used to be a gold standard in liberty and due process (at least compared with the majority of nations) but not anymore and it’s all because of the idiotic “war on terror” and bullshite like renditions and Guantanamo. We STILL haven’t learned the big lesson here and we never will at this rate.

    Okay, rant over.

    PS: Crossposted on my blog.

  • Christopher Foxx

    …to complaints that civilian trials would be too soft on them.

    Yeah. If you can’t have the verdict decided before the trial starts, why that’s just un-American.

    • mr spork

      Not sure how a civilian trial would be “too soft” on them. IIRC, there have been more convictions in court than by military tribunal.

  • muselet

    For more than a decade, Congresscritters have been screeching that the Guantánamo prisoners (they’re prisoners, not detainees) are the worst of the worst, ultra-super-duper dangerous terrorist supervillains who would break out of an ordinary SuperMax prison in the blink of an eye and kill us all in our sleep. There’s no way any of them can now turn around and admit, “You know, those goatherds who got captured along with the fifth-cousins-twice-removed of bad guys aren’t actually terrorists and shouldn’t be in a prison camp.”

    It’s ooga-booga blended with just a smidge of I Will Keep You Safe! posturing for the reelection campaign.


    • Meanwhile, their habeas corpus rights continue to be violated. This makes me really angry (directed squarely at Congress).

      • Christopher Foxx

        Don’t you know the 2nd Amendment is the only one that really counts?

        • So I’ve been told, ad nauseum

          • Christopher Foxx

            And only the second part of it.

    • Badgerite

      They sound like Lex Luther on steroids. Maybe we should call Superman.
      When the hell is the Congress going to allow that damned thing to be closed?
      Finally. Once and for all. Never to go down that road ever again.

      • muselet

        More like General Zod, actually, with Guantánamo as the Phantom Zone. (Which just about exhausts my knowledge of the Superman universe.)

        And the prison camp will presumably be closed as soon as the ooga-booga doesn’t work any more. That day can’t come too soon.


  • Lady Willpower


  • Ipecac

    And we will continue to hear from those on the left how Obama has broken his promise yet again to close Gitmo.

    • Scopedog

      Yep–should be starting very soon. Be prepared for the dudebro avalanche…

    • D_C_Wilson

      I’m sure Greenwald already has his next column queued up and ready.

    • In 3…..2…..

      • Badgerite