Obama Versus Gitmo, Gitmo Wins

Remember this solemn, hyped to the hilt promise from over two years ago?

How’s that working out? Oops.

Obama creates indefinite detention system for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay

President Obama signed an executive order Monday that will create a formal system of indefinite detention for those held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who continue to pose a significant threat to national security. The administration also said it will start new military commission trials for detainees there.

The announcements, coming more than two years after Obama vowed in another executive order to close the detention center, all but cements Guantanamo Bay’s continuing role in U.S. counterterrorism policy.

Guantanamo Bay trials to resume

President Barack Obama has ordered a resumption of military trials for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, in an acknowledgement the prison camp for terror suspect in Cuba is unlikely to close any time soon.

See also:
Decision to Resume Guantanamo Bay Military Commissions Muddies the Water
Obama delays closing Gauntanamo Bay
Obama’s new Gitmo policy is a lot like Bush’s old policy
Obama agenda: Gitmo reversal
Obama approves Guantanamo prosecutions, reversing vow
Guantanamo military trials back
Mired in Guantanamo
Guantanamo Bay Switch
Obama savaged over U-turn to resume trials for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay
Guantanamo: Barack Obama’s greatest failure
Under New Order, Guantanamo Lives on, For Now
Obama signs off on indefinite detention for Guantanamo detainees
Obama lifts freeze on Guantanamo trials

Obama’s 180 degree u-turn on closing Guantanamo is yet another embarassing policy failure, ranking right up there with such whoppers as he wouldn’t hire any lobbyists in his administration, he wouldn’t issue signing statements, passing the “stimulus” would keep unemployment under 8%, and Obamacare will lower health care costs and reduce the deficit.

/it’s more than obvious by now that you can’t trust one word that spews out of Obama’s mouth

If He Hollers, Let Him Go

Gee, what a great idea!

Gitmo Detainee Ordered Released

A suspected al Qaeda organizer once called “the highest value detainee” held at Guantanamo Bay was ordered released by a federal judge Monday.

Mohamedou Ould Slahi was accused in the 9/11 Commission report of helping recruit Mohammed Atta and other members of the al Qaeda cell in Hamburg, Germany, who took part in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S.

Military prosecutors suspected Mr. Slahi of links to other al Qaeda operations, and considered seeking the death penalty against him while preparing possible charges in 2003 and 2004.

Judge James Robertson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted Mr. Slahi’s petition for habeas corpus, effectively finding that the government lacked legal grounds to hold him. The order was classified, although the court said it planned to release a redacted public version in coming weeks.

Judge Robertson held four days of closed hearings in the Slahi case last year. Mr. Slahi testified via secure video link from the U.S. military’s detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, his attorney said.

“They were considering giving him the death penalty. Now they don’t even have enough evidence to pass the test for habeas,” said Mr. Slahi’s attorney, Nancy Hollander, of Albuquerque, N.M. She said she couldn’t comment further because the proceedings were classified. Mr. Slahi is still being held at Guantánamo.

The government may appeal. Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd on Monday said the agency was “reviewing the ruling.”

Brig. Gen. John Furlow, who helped lead a Pentagon-ordered probe of detainee abuse at Guantánamo Bay, has testified that at one point Mr. Slahi was “the highest value detainee” at the site and “the key orchestrator of the al Qaeda cell in Europe.”

Plans to try him by military commission were derailed after prosecutors learned Mr. Slahi had been subjected to a “special interrogation plan” involving weeks of physical and mental torment, including a death threat and a threat to bring Mr. Slahi’s mother to Guantanamo Bay where she could be gang-raped, officials said.

Although the treatment apparently induced Mr. Slahi’s compliance, the military prosecutor, Marine Lt. Col. V. Stuart Couch, determined that it constituted torture and that evidence it produced couldn’t lawfully be used against Mr. Slahi.

Mr. Slahi is the cretin on the left.

See also:
Detainee abused at Guantánamo ordered freed
U.S. judge orders release of Guantanamo detainee
US judge orders to free Gitmo inmate linked to 9/11
Guantanamo Detainee al-Slahi Wins Habeas Case
Judge Orders Guantanamo Detainee Released
US court to release 9/11 suspect
Judge clears Gitmo inmate
US judge orders release of 9/11 recruiter
Clinton Judge – James Robertson – Set to Free Top Al-Qaeda Terrorist
Mohamedou Ould Slahi
Judge James Robertson
James Robertson (judge)

On no, the horror, the mean interrogators tormented Slahi and made an empty threat to gang-rape his mother! The Clinton Judge says release the nice terrorist you professional military monsters!

/they should take out full page ads in the New York Times, every day for a week in advance, and then let him go at Ground Zero

Gitmo North

As predicted, here they come! Obama’s going to transfer hundreds of the world’s worst al Qaeda terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Thomson, Illinois. Obama’s irrational rationale for doing this is that, supposedly, holding al Qaeda prisoners indefinitely at Guantanamo has become “a recruiting tool for terrorists” whereas, somehow, moving them north and holding the same al Qaeda terrorists indefinitely in Illinois will magically placate terrorists worldwide. “See, it’s all good Ahmed, the infidels are indefinitely imprisoning our al Qaeda brothers in Illinois now .”

Obama administration to buy Illinois prison for Guantanamo detainees

President Obama, determined to change U.S. detention policy and shut the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, pointed Tuesday to a small town in Illinois as a big part of the answer.

A state prison in rural Thomson will be purchased and refitted to house dozens of terrorism suspects now held at Guantanamo Bay, the administration announced. But Obama immediately drew criticism that revealed just how controversial the issue remains.

Republicans in Illinois and in Washington called the president’s move risky and reminded the administration that a congressional vote is required before detainees not facing trial can be held indefinitely on U.S. soil. GOP members of the House will “seek every remedy at our disposal to stop this dangerous plan,” vowed Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). A vote is weeks or months away, Democrats said.

Civil liberties groups, while embracing the goal of closing Guantanamo Bay, said the administration would be wrong to move prisoners to the heartland without charging them with a crime.

“If Thomson will be used to facilitate their lawful prosecution, then this is truly a positive step,” said Joanne Mariner, counterterrorism director at Human Rights Watch. If not, “President Obama will simply have moved Guantanamo to Illinois.”

White House officials did not say how many inmates are likely to be transferred to the Thomson Correctional Center. Some detainees will be held for trial by military commissions on the prison grounds, while others could be held without charges.

See also:
Presidential memorandum regarding Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois
Guantanamo Detainees Will Go to Illinois
U.S. will move its war court from Guantanamo to Illinois
US Buying Prison for Guantanamo Detainees
Obama Tells Prison to Take Detainees
Rural Illinois Prison to Get Some Gitmo Detainees
White House: Guantanamo Detainees Will Be Sent to Illinois Prison
Welcome to Anti-Guantanamo, Illinois; Obama to Move Terrorist Detainees into Heartland
Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois set to be new Gitmo, White House says
Obama’s Illinois prison plan faces a high wall: the GOP
Illinois Prison For Guantanamo Detainees Faces Tough Vote In Congress
Khadr may be headed to Illinois detention facility
Thomson Correctional Center
Thomson Correctional Center
The World’s Worst Al Qaeda Terrorists, Coming Soon To A U.S. City Near You

Mark my words, we’re going to regret this as a nation. Putting any security concerns aside, the biggest downside of moving Gitmo prisoners to Illinois is that the second the al Qaeda terrorists set foot on U.S. soil, the ACLU and sundry other civil liberties groups will start flooding Federal courts with lawyers, trying to pin full U.S. citizenship rights on the tail of each and every one of these detainee donkeys. The legal three ring circus will have officially arrived in town, with Obama and Holder driving the clown car.

/the Obama administration, the dumb ideas just keep on coming, if it’s a really bad policy, they’re all over it like butter on toast

The World’s Worst Al Qaeda Terrorists, Coming Soon To A U.S. City Near You

What a great idea, what could possibly go wrong?

Senate votes to allow Guantanamo transfers to US soil for trial

THE US Senate has voted 79-19 to allow Guantanamo Bay detainees to be brought to US soil for trial, boosting President Barack Obama’s efforts to close the notorious facility.

The green light came in a $US42.7 billion spending bill for the US Department of Homeland Security in 2010, which easily cleared the House of Representatives last week and now heads to Obama to sign into law.

Obama vowed on his second day in office to shutter the facility, a magnet for global criticism of US tactics in the “war on terrorism,” by January 22, though White House aides say they face an uphill fight to keep that promise.

Of the roughly 220 people still held at the controversial prison camp, which then-president George W. Bush opened in January 2002, about 80 are waiting to be released and a further 60 are expected to be prosecuted.

The House-approved measure forbids the release of detainees at the US naval base in Cuba onto US soil, and requires a detailed assessment of the possible security risk before they can be brought to trial in the United States.

. . .

The bill did not address whether the Obama administration can hold prisoners indefinitely without charge in the United States and left unclear what the fate would be of those who may be tried and acquitted.

You’re damn right that it’s unclear what would happen if any of these terrorists were to be tried and acquitted on U.S. soil. What would happen? We already know that most of these terrorists can’t be deported to other countries because no other country is willing to accept them. What then? They can’t very well be locked up again after they’ve been acquitted. The only other possible alternative is to release them within the United States. Think that’s a far fetched possibility? Think again, it’s already close to happening.

Guantanamo detainees case reaches Supreme Court

The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to decide whether Guantanamo detainees who are considered no threat can be ordered released in the United States — over the objections of the Obama administration and Congress — if the prisoners have nowhere else to go.

. . .

The justices said they will hear a challenge from the Chinese Muslims, or Uighurs (WEE’-gurs), who are asking the court to put some teeth into its June 2008 ruling that said federal judges could ultimately order some detainees to be released, depending on security concerns and other circumstances.

Acting after the Supreme Court ruling, a federal judge in Washington said the Uighurs must be released immediately into the United States because their continued confinement was unjustified and the U.S. government could find no country willing to take them.

A federal appeals court, however, said the judge lacked the authority to order detainees released into the United States, setting up the new high court challenge.

So, what happens when the world’s worst terrorists face trial in Federal court, on U.S. soil, and the prosecution’s case collapses due to lack of evidence, tainted evidence due to improper interrogation or a faulty chain of evidence, or the inability to present evidence due to national security concerns, what then? Once a trial starts, the only two eventual outcomes are conviction or acquittal. What happens if any of the hardcore al Qaeda operatives, sworn to kill as many Americans as possible, are acquitted in Federal court, on U.S. soil, can’t be deported, and can’t be locked up again? What then?

See also:
Congress Approves Trying Guantanamo Terror Suspects in U.S.
Senate allows more transfers of detainees to U.S. for trial
Congress passes Guantanamo bill
Senate OKs transfer of Gitmo prisoners for trials
US Congress votes to allow Guantanamo transfers to US
Guantanamo prisoner restrictions clear Congress
Court to Decide on U.S. Release of Uighurs at Gitmo
Supreme Court to hear appeal from Guantánamo Bay Uighur prisoners
U.S. top court to hear Guantanamo Uighurs appeal
Guantanamo Inmates Get High Court Review on Release
Supreme Court To Hear Appeal From Uighurs Held At Guantanamo
High court accepts Guantanamo Uyghur case

One thing we do know for sure is that the second these al Qaeda jihadis set foot on U.S. soil proper, each one of them will have the best free criminal defense lawyers the ACLU and other liberal organizations can provide, banging on every Federal courthouse door in the country, on a crusade to attach the full panoply of legal rights enjoyed by U.S. citizens to their terrorist clients. Removing these unlawful combatants from a perfectly good military prison and military tribunal system at Guantanamo Bay and bringing them onto U.S. soil, to be tried in Federal court, ranks right up there as one of the dumbest ideas ever.

/not only is there a possibility that stone cold al Qaeda killers might eventually be released into the United States, but the whole Federal court trial and appeal process will become a farcical circus, a public stage for the jihadi “martyrs”, that will drag on for years, jeopardize national security interests through discovery, and cost the American taxpayers many millions of dollars

Another Major Campaign Promise Goes Under The Bus

Remember this widely hyped photo op?

Closing Guantanamo was one of Obama’s major campaign promises, along with making the war in Afghanistan a top priority, yet another major campaign promise he seems to be reneging on. Well, well, well, looky here, Obama says not so fast on that closing Guantanamo within a year promise.

Guantanamo prison not likely to close in January, officials say

The U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is unlikely to close by the Obama administration’s deadline of January 2010, two senior administration officials said late Friday.

U.S. military personnel walk a road at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in July.

They cited legal complications for the delay, but said they were still optimistic about shutting the detention facility for terrorism suspects soon.

The announcement represents a blow to the president, who signed an executive order and set the deadline with great fanfare during his first week in office.

During a signing ceremony at the White House on January 22, Obama reaffirmed his inauguration pledge that the United States does not have “to continue with a false choice between our safety and our ideals.”

The president said he was issuing the order to close the prison camp in order to “restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great even in the midst of war, even in dealing with terrorism.”

The delay may provide fodder for Republicans such as former Vice President Dick Cheney, who has argued that shutting the Guantanamo prison would make the United States less safe. He said Obama should have had a detailed plan in place before signing the order.

“Even White House officials are now acknowledging that there is still no alternative that will keep Americans as safe as housing detainees at that secure facility off our shores,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said in a written statement.

“Americans and a bipartisan majority in Congress will continue to reject any effort to close Guantanamo until there is a plan that keeps Americans as safe or safer than keeping detainees in the secure detention center,” McConnell’s statement said.

See also:
AP sources: Guantanamo might not close by January
White House Regroups on Guantanamo
Guantanamo closure uncertain four months from deadline
Security issues set to thwart Obama’s bid to close Guantanamo by January
White House acknowledges it probably won’t meet self-imposed deadline to close Guantanamo Bay

Gee, maybe they should have actually had a plan before Obama shot his mouth off and set a deadline. But hey, it’s much easier to just blame Bush and the Republicans.

Even before the inauguration, President Obama’s top advisers settled on a course of action they were counseled against: announcing that they would close the facility within one year. Today, officials are acknowledging that they will be hard-pressed to meet that goal.

The White House has faltered in part because of the legal, political and diplomatic complexities involved in determining what to do with more than 200 terrorism suspects at the prison. But senior advisers privately acknowledge not devising a concrete plan for where to move the detainees and mishandling Congress.

To address these setbacks, the administration has shifted its leadership team on the issue. White House Counsel Gregory B. Craig, who initially guided the effort to close the prison and who was an advocate of setting the deadline, is no longer in charge of the project, two senior administration officials said this week.

Craig said Thursday that some of his early assumptions were based on miscalculations, in part because Bush administration officials and senior Republicans in Congress had spoken publicly about closing the facility. “I thought there was, in fact, and I may have been wrong, a broad consensus about the importance to our national security objectives to close Guantanamo and how keeping Guantanamo open actually did damage to our national security objectives,” he said.

. . .

Senior administration officials said the central roadblock during those early months was the condition of the detainee files, which had been left in disarray by the previous administration.

See? It’s Bush’s fault, the universal Obama excuse for everything! Nevermind the obvious fact that we’re still stuck with 225 of the world’s worst terrorists because we can’t find any other country, in their right mind, that will agree to take them, not even their home countries.

But don’t worry, the country is in the very best of hands, the arrogant Democrat children are in charge.

/is it just me or does Obama make a lot of bold promises that he can’t keep or has no intention of keeping?

Holder Declares War On The CIA

Losing the health care debate badly? Need to distract the public attention from the horrific deficit forecasts being released tomorrow? No problem, just demagogue a five year old report and threaten to persecute evil Bush era CIA interrogators!

Holder to Appoint Prosecutor to Investigate CIA Terror Interrogations

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has decided to appoint a prosecutor to examine nearly a dozen cases in which CIA interrogators and contractors may have violated anti-torture laws and other statutes when they allegedly threatened terrorism suspects, according to two sources familiar with the move.

Holder is poised to name John Durham, a career Justice Department prosecutor from Connecticut, to lead the inquiry, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the process is not complete.

Durham’s mandate, the sources added, will be relatively narrow: to look at whether there is enough evidence to launch a full-scale criminal investigation of current and former CIA personnel who may have broken the law in their dealings with detainees. Many of the harshest CIA interrogation techniques have not been employed against terrorism suspects for four years or more.

The attorney general selected Durham in part because the longtime prosecutor is familiar with the CIA and its past interrogation regime. For nearly two years, Durham has been probing whether laws against obstruction or false statements were violated in connection with the 2005 destruction of CIA videotapes. The tapes allegedly depicted brutal scenes including waterboarding of some of the agency’s high value detainees. That inquiry is proceeding before a grand jury in Alexandria, although lawyers following the investigation have cast doubt on whether it will result in any criminal charges.

Word of Holder’s decision comes on the same day that the Obama administration will issue a 2004 report by the then-CIA Inspector General. Among other things, the IG questioned the effectiveness of harsh interrogation tactics that included simulated drowning and wall slamming. A federal judge in New York forced the administration to release the secret report after a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union.

A separate internal Justice Department ethics report on the professionalism of lawyers who blessed the questioning techniques continues to undergo declassification review and is not likely to be released imminently. The New York Times reported Monday that the ethics report recommended that Holder take another look at several episodes of alleged detainee abuse that previously had been declined for prosecution during the Bush years, bolstering his decision to appoint a prosecutor.

Leaders at the Justice Department and the intelligence community have clashed this year over the release of sensitive interrogation memos, military photographs of detainee abuse and how to handle the cases of more than 200 detainees at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Holder’s decision could complicate the Justice Department’s relationship with the White House, where President Obama has repeatedly expressed a desire to move forward from the national security controversies of the Bush administration. Deputy White House press secretary Bill Burton told reporters Monday that the president had complete faith in Holder and that the decision whether to launch an investigation was the attorney general’s sole prerogative.

“The White House supports the attorney general making the decisions on who gets prosecuted and investigated,” Burton said.

Holder acknowledges the possible fallout from his decision, but has concluded in recent days that he has no other choice than to probe whether laws were broken in connection with the Bush administration’s interrogation program, the two sources said. Fewer than a dozen cases will be examined, most from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Any criminal investigation into the CIA conduct faces serious hurdles, according to current and former government lawyers, including such challenges as missing evidence, nonexistent or unreliable witnesses, no access to some bodies of detainees who died, and the passage of up to seven years since the questionable activity occurred far from American soil.

During the Bush years, a team of more than a half-dozen career prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia, which is renown for its expertise in probing clandestine operations, reviewed about 20 cases of alleged prisoner abuse after receiving referrals from the military and then-CIA Inspector General John Helgerson. Among the assistant U.S. attorneys involved in the review was Robert Spencer, who successfully prosecuted al-Qaeda operative Zacharias Moussaoui and who later won one of the highest awards the Justice Department bestows.

In only one of the cases did the lawyers recommend seeking a grand jury indictment. A federal appeals court earlier this month affirmed the assault conviction of David A. Passaro, a CIA contractor who wielded a metal flashlight against a detainee at a military base in Afghanistan. Passaro was not charged with murder. Abdul Wali, the detainee he questioned, died shortly after the beating but investigators could not conclusively link his death to the flashlight attack.

A former government official involved in the previous review said that, given problems with evidence, there was “no conceivable way we could have come out different” and sought criminal indictments. The official said that analysis might change if new and reliable witnesses emerged.

Current and former CIA officials from both Democratic and Republican administrations have cited the prior review by prosecutors as one of several reasons why the Obama Justice Department need not act. They fear that any criminal investigation will chill intelligence activities and alienate operatives who are responsible for protecting national security.

See also:
Attorney General Holder opens ‘preliminary’ investigation of post-9/11 interrogations
Holder Orders Review Into Abuses of Terror Suspects (Update2)
Holder Releases Statement on Detainee Interrogations, Special Prosecutor
Holder’s Pick for CIA Investigation Known as Tough, Diligent
Sources: Report to detail alleged abuse inside CIA secret prisons
CIA staged mock execution, wielded power drill in interrogations, secret report says
CIA Faulted for Conduct at Prisons
DOJ probe opens divides with Hill, CIA
Liberals and the CIA
Civil Liberties Groups Prepare Delicate Message on CIA Probe
GOP senators warn Holder against CIA abuse inquiry
Republicans warn Holder on probe
U.S. Republican senators oppose investigation into CIA
Panetta Letter to CIA Staff on Release of Interrogation Report
Panetta Defends CIA in E-Mail to Agency
Obama White House v. CIA; Panetta Threatened to Quit
Is Panetta About to Quit?
The Justice Dept.’s War On Heroes

Okay, the memo is five years old and the alleged transgressions contained within, from even further back in ancient history, basically boil down to CIA interrogators threatening some of the world’s worst and deadliest terrorists with nasty and frightening, yet totally fictitious, never intended to be implemented, torture techniques and retribution against the terrorists’ family members. Sticks and stones didn’t hurt their bones, only words were used to break them. These allegations have already been thoroughly investigated, a long time ago, by career prosecutors experienced in CIA matters, and in the one case where abuse was found charges were brought.

Why is Holder digging up this well settled grave again after all these years, to placate the uber liberal CIA haters, the ACLU, to stroke his own ego? Doesn’t he care what damage it will do to the CIA and how much it will demoralize CIA operatives out in the field, risking their lives every day to defend America and keep us safe? What part of numerous past and present CIA Directors vociferously telling him, in no uncertain terms, that this new witch hunt is a really bad idea doesn’t he understand? Hell, even Obama doesn’t particularly want to travel down this long abandoned road.

/given Eric Holder’s undaunted determination to give aid and comfort to the enemy, at the expense of those standing between us and the enemy, it’s unclear as to where his loyalties lie and who’s side he’s really on