Okay, I’m guessing here, but I imagine that if some country called the White House tomorrow and said, hey buddy, I’ll take those Gitmo guys off your hands — they’d get more than a handwritten thank you note.
One of Obama’s first acts as president was to issue an executive order on closing the US detention facility at Guantanamo within a year. Trouble is, he hasn’t been ably to convince allies to take many of the 240 detainees– and now it appears that nobody in the US wants them either.
Lawmakers from both parties are having a severe case of Not in My Back Yard. Today the Senate voted overwhelmingly to strip funding for the Gitmo closure from a war funding bill and said no money would be authorized until Obama comes up with a plan for dealing with the detainees. TPM has an interesting analysis of howTeam Obama screwed this one up.
It’s hard for the White House to ask other countries to take in the detainees if the US doesn’t take any itself. And he has already disappointed supporters by saying he will carry out modified military commissions rather than criminal trials for the detainees.
The opposition by lawmakers, which was blamed in some quarters on Republican fear-mongering, got new credence today when Obama’s own FBI director Robert Mueller piled on, saying the FBI has concerns about bringing detainees to the US — even in supermax prisons — because they could radicalize others or orchestrate attacks from their cells.
Obama is planning a speech tomorrow on national security and is expected to address the issue. Meanwhile, Dick Cheney is planning his own speech tomorrow about how Barack Obama is screwing up.
Can Saudi Arabia come to the rescue? And if so, what do they get in return?