Tuesday, February 23, 2016

President Obama Announces Plan to Close Gitmo Ready for Congress to Act

Time to Close and Let the Sun Set on Gitmo

Major update: (Tuesday, February 23, 2016 – the White House) President announced plan to close Gitmo for submission to Congress that I posted about yesterday. It was live on NBC News today.

As for me, there is not one single word the President spoke that I disagree with – he was as they say “spot-on.”  Below several key point he highlighted are listed that I walked away, but first this short reminder related to Federal trials vs. Military Tribunals that he also addressed:

In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in November 2010, former AG Eric Holder said, “There are more than 300 convicted international and domestic terrorists currently in Bureau of Prisons custody.”

Republicans jumped all over that and have attacked that number since as inaccurate. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time, called the 300 figure “unsubstantiated.” Former President Bush's former press secretary, Dana Perino, said the statistic is as “false as false gets.”

But the number actually comes from a Bush administration document. In 2008, the Justice Department submitted a budget request citing “319 convictions or guilty pleas in terrorism or terrorism-related cases arising from investigations conducted primarily after September 11, 2001.”

Then the NYU Center on Law and Security conducted its own comprehensive study and came up with this in their report saying: “If you had every single terrorism-related prosecution since 9/11 and you wanted to know the convictions, there would be 523” (said the center's director, Karen Greenberg). Also, this related from Human Rights Watch here.

Mr. Obama mentioned those in Federal max prisons adding, “They are there because we threw the book at them.” (Meaning they got the max by law). 

Mr. Obama emphasized key points of the plan to close the facility (I paraphrase):

#1:  To maintain our safety and security here at home.
#2:  To protect and defend our American values and principles justice.
#3:  To save lots of money by closing Gitmo.
#4:  And, to put the United States back in good standing with our friends and allies on this subject all around the world.
#5:  And, it takes away a terrorist propaganda tool by showing everyone the United States is a decent and just nation who deals in fairness and legal justice.

Now, President Obama making the Gitmo closure plan announcement:

Thanks for stopping by and more on this subject is posted below.

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