Thursday, May 21, 2009

$80M Gitmo Closure debate

Both President Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney spoke today on the issue of torture and Gitmo closing. President Obama still plans to close Gitmo within 1 year while “ordering a review the cases of all detainees at [Gitmo]”. According to President Obama there are 240 detainees currently being housed at Gitmo. Just this week, Congress striped out the money required by President Obama to close Gitmo because the plan lacked clarity.

Many in Congress fear that detainees will be relocated into their districts. This makes me laugh since many of these same Congressmen, and women, are demanding and applauding President Obama’s decision to close Gitmo. Yet, their vote of offers a different opinion on their support of the President’s plan to close Gitmo. During President Obama’s speech today, he alluded to the creation of a new facility to house those deemed “to dangerous” to be placed in current high security prisons. Why?

Why spend more money on a new facility? Gitmo is the state of the art. The concept is a waste of money and will not lessen the stigma of Gitmo. The move is similar to his promise to bring troops home from Iraq only to send them to Afghanistan or Pakistan. It’s a shell game. Americans wake up and see what is going on here.

Vice President Cheney, although not as eloquent, hit back hard at the accusations made by the current administration. The terrorist that were captured are not “prisoner of war” as President Obama claims. They are terrorist. That simply fact is the basis of the legal rendering made by President Bush’s legal team. As a terrorist they are not covered by the Geneva Convention.
The President has the right to declassify any CIA document. What is being suppressed or covered up by not releasing the CIA memos that former Vice President Cheney says justifies the use of EIT’s on the three detainee’s post 9-11. As former Vice President Cheney alluded to, the EIT’s were only used on three detainees and only after all other methods were exhausted.

In watching the MSNBC reaction to both speeches was entertaining because Chris Matthews and his group are so in the pocket of President Obama. Pat Buchanan is the token conservative in the ocean of liberals. It was entertaining on how Matthews lobbed up softballs to the other liberal commentators and avoiding Buchanan. Hardball has gone soft.

The issue moving forward is no longer the definition of torture. The move forward is what to do with the detainees after Gitmo is closed. As an American taxpayer, I do not want to pay for a new facility when Gitmo serves the exact purpose a new facility will perform. It is a flat waste of money and with future Americans being taxed with a multi-trillion dollar deficit.

“To rule out future use of enhanced integration techniques,” according the former Vice President Cheney will only “weaken” our security. I agree with that. EIT’s should not be the first method of extracting information but it should be an option.