The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

Rhetoric vs. Reality

Let’s talk Gtimo.

In a clear setback for President Barack Obama, Senate Democrats moved Tuesday to both wipe out $80 million in new funding for the closing the Guantanamo detention facility and bar the administration from moving prisoners to U.S. soil until there is a more detailed plan provided to lawmakers. 

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) confirmed the decision, which follows intense pressure from Republicans going into debate over a $91.3 billion wartime spending bill expected to come to the floor late Tuesday. 

“We’ll wipe out all the money,” Inouye said, “And I’ll put in a provision that says none of the funds in this bill or any other bill can be used to pay for the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo to the United States.” 

Well, good for them for figuring out what those of us on the right have known all long: you can’t close Guantanamo correctly without a plan. And President Obama doesn’t have one.

In fact, he’s had to keep the same military commissions in place that he made a point of campaigning against. For example, this statement from 2008….

Obama said the desire to punish the perpetrators of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, shouldn’t blind people to the flaws of the military tribunals that the Bush administration established to try Guantanamo inmates.

“These trials will need to be above reproach,” the Illinois senator said in a statement Monday. “These trials are too important to be held in a flawed military commission system that has failed to convict anyone of a terrorist act since the 9/11 attacks and that has been embroiled in legal challenges.”

Obama said the men should be tried either in a U.S. criminal court or by military court-martial, either of which would “demonstrate our commitment to the rule of law.” Both those systems are more protective of defendants’ rights than military tribunals, which allow evidence obtained through coercion and hearsay.

…has brought us this result:

The Obama administration is preparing to revive the system of military commissions established at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, under new rules that would offer terrorism suspects greater legal protections, government officials said.

The Obama administration’s plan to reinstate the commissions with modifications reflects the fear that some cases would fail in federal courts or in standard military legal settings.

“It looks a lot more difficult now than it did on Jan. 20,” said one government official.

Hell, it looked difficult to me in October 2005, when I left the place. But whatever.

I’m gonna be honest: on some of the national security issues that led to me not voting for Obama, he’s actually ended up going the way he should have, given enough time. Yeah, some of the stances he takes come off as way out in  left field (pun intended)…but given about 2-3 weeks, he usually comes around to the place where I-and the country-need him to be.

That’s the good thing about the end of campaign season, and all the posturing that comes along with it. Eventually, reality and common sense break out. We can argue all day on whether a particular course should’ve been spoken of in the first place…but as long as the end result-in this case, keeping us all safe-is achieved, there shouldn’t be any problems.

Until the next boneheaded idea comes up.




Written by Coby Dillard

May 19, 2009 at 8:13 pm

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