At a speech to the City Club of Cleveland yesterday afternoon, President Obama summoned once again the hobgoblin of his presidency: Guantanamo Bay.
During a Q&A session the President revealed that, if he could start his presidency over, with perfect hindsight, he would close Gitmo on day one.
Who does he blame for this error in judgment? The bipartisan coalition to close the facility, of course!
“I thought we had enough consensus there that we could do it in a more deliberate fashion,” Obama added. “But the politics of it got tough, and people got scared by the rhetoric around it. Once that set in, then the path of least resistance was just to leave it open, even though it’s not who we are as a country and it’s used by terrorists around the world to help recruit jihadists.”
Instead, Obama said, we’ve been forced to “chip away it” a little bit at a time, releasing a small number of detainees who could not be charged but leaving more than 100 still in captivity with no trials in sight.
Late last year, a report by the Wall Street Journal revealed that the President was still considering two main avenues to fulfill his yet-undelivered campaign promise:
Senior administration officials are saying that the President is serious about coming through on the Gitmo closure, and is considering taking executive action to get the job done. The Wall Street Journal’s report reveals Obama’s two most likely routes to bypass Congress:
He could veto the annual bill setting military policy, known as the National Defense Authorization Act, in which the ban on transferring detainees to the U.S. is written. While the veto wouldn’t directly affect military funding, such a high-stakes confrontation with Congress carries significant political risks.
A second option would be for Mr. Obama to sign the bill while declaring restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo prisoners an infringement of his powers as commander in chief, as he has done previously. Presidents of both parties have used such signing statements to clarify their understanding of legislative measures or put Congress on notice that they wouldn’t comply with provisions they consider infringements of executive power.
Similar efforts are likely on immigration, “climate change” and other areas where Obama is unable to obtain congressional approval.
Another day, another effort to bypass Congress on behalf of a radical agenda that the American people wouldn’t and still don’t stand behind.
The scary part? He said this knowing that a good percentage of prisoners released from the facility return to the battlefield.
What a Commander in Chief we have.DONATE
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