Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Can President Obama let go of his GITMO fantasies?

Maybe there are some college professors and/or Bernie Sanders supporters who want to close GITMO, but most Americans do not.
A Rasmussen poll from 2015 makes it clear that Americans are OK with keeping the facility open: 53%!  That was a poll taken a year ago, or before Paris and San Bernardino.  Or word that a man released is now back on the war front.
My guess is that most Americans understand that you detain prisoners in a time of war, as we did in previous conflicts.  Also, Congress has made it clear that GITMO is their preferred location for these terrorists.
This week, President Obama was back singing the same old song, to paraphrase The Four Tops.  He continues to say that GITMO is a recruiting tool for our enemies:
“Guantanamo has been an enormous recruitment tool for organizations like ISIL,” Obama said during an appearance at an economic conference in the Philippines, using another name for ISIS.
“It’s part of how they rationalize and justify their demented, sick perpetration of violence on innocent people. And we can keep the American people safe while shutting down that operation.”
President Obama’s “recruiting” remarks are so silly that they put his judgment into question.
Let’s remember that the GITMO detention facility was not open in 1985 (Achille Lauro), 1993 (World Trade Center towers), 1998 (U.S. embassies in Africa), or 2000 (USS Cole).  Add to this the 1993 plans to assassinate President GHW Bush in Kuwait.
That’s a lot of pre-GITMO terrorist activity!
Of course, 9-11 also happened before the facility was open.  What GITMO facility recruited these guys?
So what is driving this silly, and I mean silly, obsession with closing GITMO?
I am not a psychiatrist or mind-reader, but I do think that this is all about President Obama’s ego.  In other words, how does he tell his supporters, or himself, that Bush-Cheney were right about GITMO and the premature withdrawal from Iraq?
Frankly, President Obama could close Gitmo by going around Congress.  He could do so under his authority as commander in chief.  The question is the same: what country wants Gitmo’s occupants?  What congressman wants them in his or her district?  How many will go back to killing U.S. soldiers?
Gitmo was a great topic at the “yes we can” rallies of 2007-08.  It makes no sense today.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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