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Tribunals Deal Near For Top Detainees

From the Wall Street Journal:

Deal Near on Gitmo, Trials for Detainees


March 19, 2010

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.

The deal would put the alleged mastermind of the attacks of September 2001, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, his fellow plotters and other top terror suspects before revamped military commissions, rather than in civilian trials as the Obama administration had sought. These courts would offer defendants more rights than they had under the Bush administration, but fewer than they would be afforded in civilian court

The framework of the deal is being led in Congress by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Mr. Graham wants civilian courts to be reserved for low-level Al Qaeda operatives and terrorist financiers, a far smaller group than previously considered.

Why should there be civilian trials for any of these enemy combatants, no matter how “low-level”? Doesn’t it establish a dangerous precedent?

Forty-eight Guantanamo prisoners—men who cannot be convicted in court but deemed too dangerous for release—would face indefinite detention without trial.

Mind you, this is one of the things Mr. Mr. Obama used to rail against incessantly. Under President Bush, it was a crime against humanity.

Democrats are willing to expand the number of detainees brought before military commissions, but want more discretion than in Mr. Graham’s proposal

White House and Democratic aides in the Senate said what they called an opening "proffer" from Sen. Graham won’t be the final outcome. But the broad framework of a deal is done. "We’re now at the ‘getting serious’ stage," said one senior Democratic Senate aide…

In exchange for the concessions on civilian trials from Democrats, Mr. Graham will help secure funding to purchase a little-used prison in Thomson, Ill., and refurbish it as a federal maximum-security facility with a military courthouse. Senate Democratic aides say Mr. Graham believes two other Republicans are willing to join the compromise, but they would not say who.

We are still going to waste a half a billion dollars just to provide a new location for these military tribunals?

And for what? So Mr. Obama can say he ‘closed’ Guantanamo?

Among the sticking points, President Barack Obama does not want to precisely define which defendants would face trial before a military commission and which would go before a civilian judge.

"Maintaining a robust role for federal courts and prosecutorial discretion are critically important," a White House official said…

Such groups as the American Civil Liberties Union are taking aim at the White House, arguing that Mr. Obama’s overruling of Mr. Holder amounts to politicizing the Justice Department

Never mind that the whole argument for closing Gitmo and for giving these enemy combatants civilian trials was nakedly political.

There was no reason to do any of this except politics.

(And speaking of politics, it’s almost a certainty that ‘amnesty for illegal aliens’ is in the middle of all of this horse trading.)

Meanwhile, it seems like only yesterday that we were hearing a completely different story from the Republican House Minority Leader, John Boehner, via CNN and the Politico:

Congress won’t pay to close Gitmo, says Boehner

March 14, 2010

House Minority Leader John Boehner called the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay a "world class facility," and said in an interview with CNN airing Sunday that closing it – a goal of the Obama administration – is not likely and that holding suspected terrorists there is appropriate.

"Well, no they’re not" going to close the prison the Ohio Republican said. "They keep saying they are. But they want $500 million from this Congress to rehabilitate this prison in northwest Illinois. I want to see who the members are who are going to vote for this. I wouldn’t vote for this if you put a gun to my head," he said.  "I think we have a world class facility at Guantanamo. I think it’s the appropriate — appropriate place to hold these prisoners. And they can do the — the tribunals right there at Guantanamo. There is no reason to bring these terrorists into the United States. No reason to increase the threat level here, because they’re here. Their friends may want to come. It makes no sense to me. And I don’t think the Congress will appropriate one dime to move those prisoners from Guantanamo to the United States."

Too bad there aren’t more John Boehners in Congress, and that there is even one Lindsay Graham in the Senate.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, March 19th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Tribunals Deal Near For Top Detainees”

  1. RightWinger says:

    “Senate Democratic aides say Mr. Graham believes two other Republicans are willing to join the compromise, but they would not say who.

    Ok, I’ll go out on a limb and say one of them is John McLame. Who is the other RINO involved?

  2. Right of the People says:

    This has lowered my already rock bottom opinion of any and all politicians. How do any of these scumbags look themselves in the mirror and NOT immediately spew?

  3. canary says:

    Gitmo Soldiers guards experienced, trained & housed, will still have to paid.

    Gitmo is much shorter distance to travel, than from D.C. to Illinoise. Greener.
    The plus side of Civil Rights for the detained terrorists, is they would recieve their “Right to a Speedy Trial”.

    Just put the dog mug braces on their faces to prevent them from biting, and a quick escort from and back to their state of the art living quarters. It beats sand

  4. Mithrandir says:

    It’s not that these people are stupid. They can pass any examination of their knowledge, –no question.

    It’s that they are not able to explain themselves clearly to other people. This reminds me of my brilliant math teacher. He could not explain how to solve equations, “You just do.” To him, it was so obvious, why WOULDN’T you carry this number and subtract this and that? Our class was so lost and angry, that he was forced to grade on a curve. So the person with the highest F in the class got an A and so on. No one learned anything.

    It’s the same with these eggheads in Washington, they know a lot of stuff, but can’t explain why they are correct. The other fact is, is that they are communists and DON’T WANT to explain themselves.

  5. Reality Bytes says:

    If you missed it earlier this week – here another attorney who rivals Holder’s qualifications: From My Cousin Vinny – the Studdering Defense


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