Friday, March 19, 2010

To Close or Not to Close..Guantanamo

There are two conflicting stories on Gitmo this morning.

The first is from Michael Gershon's piece in The Washington Post on the ineptitude of Eric Holder. Gershon lists Holder's blunders and says with regard to Gitmo (emphasis mine):

"Fourth, there is the closing of the prison at Guantanamo Bay and the civilian trial for Khalid Sheik Mohammed and other accused Sept. 11 conspirators in Manhattan. Under Holder's direction, this process has collapsed. There is no serious plan to close Guantanamo. Holder has been unable to articulate reasons some terrorism cases are referred to civilian courts while others are tried in military tribunals...."

But that's not what Jonathan Weisman and Evan Perez write in today's Wall Street Journal:

"The White House is nearing a deal with a bipartisan group of senators to close the Guantanamo Bay prison and pave the way for more detainees to be tried before military commissions, a move that would reverse a signature Obama administration security policy."

Sen. Lindsey Graham is leading the negotiations to close Gitmo; he promises to help secure funding for the Thomson prison in return for a negotiated deal on the handling of civilian trials vs. military commissions. Graham wants KSM before a military commission rather than a civilian trial, but he favors civilian trials for lower level al Qaeda operatives.

It appears Gershon is mistaken when he says there is "no serious plan to close Gitmo."

Andy McCarthy, at The Corner, sees this as disastrous:

The good parts of the deal will be either things we'd have gotten anyway (like no civilian trial for KSM) or unenforceable (like promises that the Obama administration will be more open to using options other than the criminal justice system for top terrorists). The bad parts will be horrific, and no matter what Senator Graham says, he can't do a thing about them: The place or places where the terrorists are held will become targets that we will have to spend tons of money to protect; the tons of money we have already spent to make Gitmo a first-rate, ideally secured facility, will be lost; and, most significantly, the physical presence in the U.S. of the detainees will mean they are unquestionably in the jurisdiction of the federal courts, where judges will be able to say the Constitution requires all sorts of remedies, including release.

McCarthy is, of course correct. The left continues to spout the fiction that Gitmo is this huge recruiting too, but so far has failed to explain to my satisfaction what the recruiting tool was before 9/11. Seems like their recruiting was pretty healthy BEFORE Gitmo was established.

Gershon may be mistaken on his assessment of the closing of Gitmo but he's at least correct on the blunders of Eric Holder. I'm tired of the expression, but it's time for Holder to go under the bus.


TrogloPundit said...

It appears Gershon is mistaken when he says there is "no serious plan to close Gitmo."

Just because the White House is negotiating doesn't make it a serious plan.

Pat Austin Becker said...

A valid point, Trog!