Hey, remember when Obama closed Gitmo? Remember how he couldn’t stop telling us how great it was that he’d closed Gitmo? He actually listed “closing Gitmo” as one of his achievements. To him, making a promise was the same as keeping it. And if he didn’t actually keep it, so what?
All because on January 22, 2009, two days after being sworn in, Obama signed the first of his many executive orders:
Before Obama even knew how to find all the bathrooms in the White House, he’d signed that executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. It was that important to him. And, in an appropriate metaphor for his presidency, that order wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on. Nine years later, Gitmo is still open. King Barry failed.
He was never able to close it, but he sure did try to empty it out. Remember when he released five Taliban commanders from Gitmo in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, a deserter and possibly a traitor? He would probably prefer if you forgot that one…
Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim, Robert Bergdahl. Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim indeed.
Sorry, libs, but there won’t be any more terrorist giveaways for the time being. Scott Neuman, NPR:
President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to keep open the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, after pledging during the campaign to “load it up with some bad dudes.”
Trump signed that right before his State of the Union Address, where he said: “In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds and hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield…”
PolitiFact rates this claim as Mostly False, which means it’s mostly true.
There are a lot of things I don’t like about President Trump, but I’m with him on this one. Obama never made the case for closing Gitmo, and I’m glad it didn’t happen. Trump is right to keep it open, and to remind everyone why. Even if it’s only a symbolic gesture, it sends the right message.
Of course, the usual suspects don’t like it:
The last time someone was sent to Guantanamo was March 2008.
The last time a detainee was transferred from Guantanamo was the end of the Obama administration on January 19, 2017.
While 780 people have been held there since Jan 2002, now only 41 detainees left. –@ckubeNBC
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) January 31, 2018
As with climate denial, it will be strange to explain to our kids in a couple of decades why a central plank of the Republican Party’s agenda in the early 21st century was keeping 41 people in a facility in Cuba where they aren’t prosecuted at enormous expense. https://t.co/mEg35ayxAu
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) January 31, 2018
Which is a weird thing for Ben Rhodes to say, considering he worked in Obama’s White House for eight years. I guess they would’ve done more to close Gitmo, but they were too busy making sure Iran could build some nukes. Also, I’m pretty sure they stopped the oceans from rising, so they’ve got that going for ’em.
What’s a bigger priority to most Americans: Trump possibly (probably?) banging a porn star while his wife was nursing his newborn child, or terrorists destroying things and killing people? I’m on record as disapproving of both practices, but I really think stopping terrorism takes priority. By all means, criticize Trump for his numerous personal failings. But wanting to stop terrorism isn’t one of them.
(Also: Russia, Mueller, Nunes, #ReleaseTheMemo, blah blah blah. Yes, I know. It’s all very, very important. By all means, keep talking about it as much as you like.)
Keep Gitmo open. Keep putting bad guys in there. Make Terrorism Unrewarding Again.