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House Panel Deals Obama Admin Big Setback in Gitmo Closure Plan

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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 02:53 PM
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House Panel Deals Obama Admin Big Setback in Gitmo Closure Plan

http://washingtonindependent.com/85355/house-panel-deal...

The Obama administrations longstanding pledge to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay just hit a major obstacle in the House, creating doubts over whether the detention facility can be closed this year if at all.

Last night the House Armed Services Committee finished this years bill authorizing $567 billion worth of defense spending and another $159 billion for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars for the fiscal year beginning in October. Following an administration budget plan announced in February by Pentagon comptroller Robert Hale, the Afghanistan war request contained a vague provision indeed, not even carrying the words Guantanamo Bay called a transfer fund to authorize the purchase of the Thomson Correction Center in Illinois. The administration wants to buy Thomson in order to have a secure facility on U.S. soil to house those Guantanamo detainees it designates for military commissions or indefinite detention without charge. Once the federal government buys Thomson, it can shut down Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay.

Or that was the plan. The actual bill hasnt been released yet. But buried at the bottom of an extensive summary the committee released last night is an express prohibition on the use of any Defense Department money to buy a new detention facility. According to the bill summary, the bill now requires Defense Secretary Robert Gates to give Congress a report that adequately justifies any proposal to build or modify such a facility if it wants to move forward with any post-Guantanamo detention plan.

The Committee firmly believes that the construction or modification of any facility in the U.S. to detain or imprison individuals currently being held at Guantanamo must be accompanied by a thorough and comprehensive plan that outlines the merits, costs, and risks associated with utilizing such a facility, the summary text read. No such plan has been presented to date. The bill prohibits the use of any funds for this purpose.
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zipplewrath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 03:58 PM
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1. What takes so long?
I don't understand what is taking so long to develop a comprehensive plan to change the address of this facility. It's not like half the law schools in the country weren't contemplating this well before Obama got elected. And it's not like Obama didn't know this was coming. It's been 16 months since he announced his intentions, and just over a year since his speech at the National Archives. What are they waiting for? We don't need perfect, we need done.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 04:01 PM
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2. k/r
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libodem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 04:11 PM
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3. Probably the new facility
is going to need special medical units for permanently insane and injured prisoners that we need to keep hidden from the world. I still think the story of the soldier who was beaten at Gitmo is the standard treatment of those detainees. The soldier has permanent brain damage and uncontrollable seizures from the beating he got when he volunteered to participate in a training exercise. They mashed and slammed his head so much he'll never be whole again.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-21-10 04:13 PM
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4. Shame on you, Nancy Pelosi, and on any member who isn't working
to shut down this icon of our national shame.
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