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Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:28 PM

 

Obama's first promise remains, and will remain, a broken one.

"The New York Times' Charlie Savage reported yesterday that the State Department "reassigned Daniel Fried, the special envoy for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and will not replace him". That move obviously confirms what has long been assumed: that the camp will remain open indefinitely and Obama's flamboyant first-day-in-office vow will go unfulfilled. Dozens of the current camp detainees have long been cleared by Pentagon reviews for release - including Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, a 36-year-old Yemeni who died at the camp in September after almost 11 years in a cage despite never having been charged with a crime. Like so many of his fellow detainees, his efforts to secure his release were vigorously (and successfully) thwarted by the Obama administration.

Perfectly symbolizing the trajectory of the Obama presidency, this close-Guantánamo envoy will now "become the department's coordinator for sanctions policy". Marcy Wheeler summarizes the shift this way: "Rather than Close Gitmo, We'll Just Intercept More Medical Goods for Iran". She notes that this reflects "how we've changed our human rights priorities". Several days ago, Savage described how the Obama DOJ is ignoring its own military prosecutors' views in order to charge GITMO detainees in its military commissions with crimes that were not even recognized as violations of the laws of war.
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/01/30-4

Even sadder, this broken promise of Obama's has been joined by many more, and they will continue to pile up over the next four years.

19 replies, 1759 views

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Reply Obama's first promise remains, and will remain, a broken one. (Original post)
MadHound Jan 2013 OP
elleng Jan 2013 #1
MadHound Jan 2013 #2
Shivering Jemmy Jan 2013 #6
MadHound Jan 2013 #9
elleng Jan 2013 #18
elleng Jan 2013 #10
MadHound Jan 2013 #11
elleng Jan 2013 #15
ProSense Jan 2013 #14
limpyhobbler Jan 2013 #3
MadHound Jan 2013 #5
zappaman Jan 2013 #4
MadHound Jan 2013 #7
Summer Hathaway Jan 2013 #16
zappaman Jan 2013 #17
SidDithers Jan 2013 #8
Tarheel_Dem Jan 2013 #13
ProSense Jan 2013 #12
Tarheel_Dem Jan 2013 #19

Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:30 PM

1. ...

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:31 PM

2. The truth hurts sometimes,

 

But it is the truth nevertheless.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:40 PM

6. Hurts who?

Doesn't hurt me at all. It's unfortunate but this requires buy in from legislators and state officials too. And they aren't buying in. If you can't convince this society to do this, then you can't convince them. And blame can be allocated proportionally.

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Response to Shivering Jemmy (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:42 PM

9. Read down a bit further, follow the links in the article,

 

Perhaps this will help you understand the real problem.

"Put simply, Obama's plan was never to close Gitmo as much as it was to re-locate it to Illinois: to what the ACLU dubbed "Gitmo North". That's why ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said of Obama's 2009 "close-Gitmo" plan that it "is hardly a meaningful step forward" and that "while the Obama administration inherited the Guantánamo debacle, this current move is its own affirmative adoption of those policies." That's because, he said, "the administration plans to continue its predecessor's policy of indefinite detention without charge or trial for some detainees, with only a change of location."

And the reason Democratic Senators such as Feingold voted against funding Gitmo's closing wasn't because they were afraid to support its closing. It was because they refused to fund the closing until they saw Obama's specific plan, because they did not want to support the importation of Gitmo's indefinite detention system onto US soil, as Obama expressly intended."

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Response to Shivering Jemmy (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 07:18 PM

18. Right.

Thanks

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Response to MadHound (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:43 PM

10. B.S.

Obama really wants to close the center. But Congress really doesn't.

The latest turn of events was the law authorizing defense spending for 2011. In addition to funding the military for the year, members of Congress attached several stipulations about Guantanamo. The law says no funds canbe used to transfer Guantanamo detainees to the United States, and no funds can be used to transfer detainees to the custody of foreign countries, unless specific conditions are met about how the prisoners will be held.

Obama didn't like those provisions and issued a statement deploring them. He said the limitation on transferring prisoners to the U.S. is "a dangerous and unprecedented challenge to critical executive branch authority ... ." Of the new requirements on transferring prisoners to foreign governments, Obama said it could "hinder the conduct of delicate negotiations with foreign countries and therefore the effort to conclude detainee transfers in accord with our national security."

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/177/close-the-guantanamo-bay-detention-center/

Congress has thwarted President Barack Obama’s plans to close the detention center, which the Bush administration opened on Jan. 11, 2002, with . . . 20 captives.

Congress has used its spending oversight authority both to forbid the White House from financing trials of Guantánamo captives on U.S. soil and to block the acquisition of a state prison in Illinois to hold captives currently held in Cuba who would not be put on trial — a sort of Guantánamo North.

The latest defense bill adopted by Congress moved to mandate military detention for most future al Qaida cases. The White House withdrew a veto threat on the eve of passage, and then Obama signed it into law with a “signing statement” that suggested he could lawfully ignore it.

On paper, at least, the Obama administration would be set to release almost half the current captives at Guantánamo. The 2009 Task Force Review concluded that about 80 of the 171 detainees now held at Guantánamo could be let go if their home country was stable enough to help resettle them or if a foreign country could safely give them a new start.

But Congress has made it nearly impossible to transfer captives anywhere. Legislation passed since Obama took office has created a series of roadblocks that mean that only a federal court order or a national security waiver issued by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta could trump Congress and permit the release of a detainee to another country.

Neither is likely: U.S. District Court judges are not ruling in favor of captives in the dozens of unlawful detention suits winding their way from Cuba to the federal court in Washington. And on the occasions when those judges have ruled for detainees, the U.S. Court of Appeals has consistently overruled them in an ever-widening definition of who can be held as an affiliate of al Qaida or the Taliban.

Meanwhile, Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon’s top lawyer, believes that Congress crafted the transfer waivers a year ago in such a way that Panetta (and Robert Gates before him) would be ill-advised to sign them. (In essence, the Secretary of Defense is supposed to guarantee that the detainee would never in the future engage in violence against any American citizen or U.S. interest.)

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/01/09/135179/congress-rule-keep-obama-from.html#storylink=cpy

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Response to elleng (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:46 PM

11. See post 9, directly above yours,

 

And really now, linking to McClatchy? What's next, linking to The Blaze? Might as well, because both are pretty equivalent.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:55 PM

15. NIMBY

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:53 PM

14. Ankle biters.



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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:35 PM

3. it's more of a symbolic issue than a real one

They could have easily just closed gitmo and thrown everybody into one of the overseas torture prisons of undisclosed location.

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Response to limpyhobbler (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:38 PM

5. Or they could actually have trials, determine who is innocent, who is guilty, and proceed from there

 

But hell, some folks have now lived, and died in Gitmo, without even being charged.

That is the true outrage, that nothing is being done to clear these prisoners out. They aren't charged, they aren't brought to trial, they are simply thrown into Gitmo indefinitely, with no legal recourse.

We were once led to believe that America was better than this, that this sort of treatment was reserved for banana republics. No more.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:36 PM

4. You should fly to Washington

and tell him how much he sucks.

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Response to zappaman (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:41 PM

7. Why?

 

Email and snail mail do just as much as me visiting him in person. Of course that amounts to diddly squat, because frankly, this president, like most other presidents, simply doesn't listen to us "little people". If you don't bring in the big bucks to his campaign, or control some other lever of power, you are essentially voiceless. That is the reality of our government, no matter who is in the White House.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 07:04 PM

16. If that's the case

why do you post here?

Do you think Obama reads DU, and will be impressed by the number of replies to your ramblings?

For someone who consistently promotes the argument that all is in vain, and the "little people" are never heard, you obviously feel an overwhelming need to draw attention to your personal bemoaning of that notion on a regular basis.

We can only wonder why someone who insists that all is lost is compelled to share that thought over and over and over again.


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Response to MadHound (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 07:08 PM

17. Sorry, I thought you would get that...

I was referencing another of your failed threads...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2213314

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:41 PM

8. ...



Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:52 PM

13. May I join you? Seems that making shit up passes for journalism in some quarters. Post #10....

answers this joke of an o.p. quite nicely, doncha think?

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:52 PM

12. Wait

"That move obviously confirms what has long been assumed: that the camp will remain open indefinitely and Obama's flamboyant first-day-in-office vow will go unfulfilled."

...isn't it a little bizarre to claim the President broke his promise by lamenting the reassignment of the person appointed by the President who was actually doing a good job? Has Greenwald ever mentioned Fried before or acknowledged the facts about his work?

Office Working to Close Guantánamo Is Shuttered

By CHARLIE SAVAGE

FORT MEADE, Md. — The State Department on Monday reassigned Daniel Fried, the special envoy for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and will not replace him, according to an internal personnel announcement. Mr. Fried’s office is being closed, and his former responsibilities will be “assumed” by the office of the department’s legal adviser, the notice said.

<...>

Mr. Fried’s special envoy post was created in 2009, shortly after Mr. Obama took office and promised to close the prison in his first year. A career diplomat, Mr. Fried traveled the world negotiating the repatriation of some 31 low-level detainees and persuading third-party countries to resettle about 40 who were cleared for release but could not be sent home because of fears of abuse.

But the outward flow of detainees slowed almost to a halt as Congress imposed restrictions on further transfers, leaving Mr. Fried with less to do. He was eventually assigned to work on resettling a group of Iranian exiles, known as the M.E.K., who were living in a refugee camp in Iraq, in addition to his Guantánamo duties.

Ian Moss, a spokesman for Mr. Fried’s office, said its dismantling did not mean that the administration had given up on closing the prison. “We remain committed to closing Guantánamo, and doing so in a responsible fashion,” Mr. Moss said. “The administration continues to express its opposition to Congressional restrictions that impede our ability to implement transfers.”

- more -

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/29/us/politics/state-dept-closes-office-working-on-closing-guantanamo-prison.html

Remember Congress cut funding.

<...>

“President Obama is correct that Congress should not be attempting to bar the administration from using government funds to transfer Guantánamo detainees to U.S. soil for prosecution or to transfer them to foreign countries for repatriation or release.

“But even with today’s signing of the Defense Authorization Act, President Obama still has the ability to transfer Guantánamo detainees away from the notorious prison. There is nothing stopping the president from ordering the Department of Justice or Homeland Security to send planes to Guantánamo to transfer detainees to the United States for prosecution or to foreign countries for repatriation or resettlement, and he should do so as soon as possible.

“The unlawful detention of Guantánamo detainees for almost nine years without charge or trial is a stain on America’s reputation and should be ended immediately. If the government believes there is credible evidence against Guantánamo detainees, it should bring those detainees to the U.S. for prosecution in the American justice system. Our criminal justice system has a successful history of prosecuting hundreds of terrorism cases while both protecting national security interests and upholding constitutional rights. Where no credible evidence exists, detainees should be transferred to countries where they will be safe.

“Guantánamo must be closed as soon as possible and we must put an end to the unlawful policies that have been carried out there. It is high time to restore the rule of law.”

http://www.aclu.org/national-security/president-obama-correctly-rebukes-congressional-attempt-hinder-transfer-guantanamo

As Savage points out, that is exactly what the President charged Fried with doing.



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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:28 AM

19. I'd say, judging from the responses, this is:



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