First day in office, Obama signs an executive order to close Gitmo within a year. In addition, all Gitmo trials have been halted including Khalid Sheik Muhammeds hearing set for today. Khalid is the mastermind of the planes operation of the 2001 World Trade Center attacks.
In one of his first acts in office President Obama has ordered the U.S. government to suspend prosecutions of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay for 120 days, military officials said Tuesday.
Papers filed at the U.S. prison camp said the request is made “in the interest of justice and at the direction of the president of the United States.” It seeks a delay in proceedings until May 20.
“The judges will receive the requests and review them, and we anticipate a ruling soon,” said Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon, a Defense Department spokesman.
Tuesday’s directive was issued verbally through Defense Secretary Bob Gates, according to a military official.
Obama had vowed to close the naval prison at the U.S. base. While Obama’s order does not go that far, it will stop the prosecutions of 21 detainees currently facing war crimes charges.
The Eleventh Amendment states:
The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.
Should a terrorist have more constitutional rights than a person in the military? If a military person commits a crime, they are tried under the UCMJ. So should a terrorist have more rights than our own military? There is precedence for Guantanimo Bay and terrorists being tried under the UCMJ. Read this Wall Street Journal article which states the following:
“There is ample constitutional precedent to support the detention of a suspected al Qaeda agent, even an American citizen, who plans to carry out terrorist attacks on our soil. During World War II, eight Nazi saboteurs secretly landed in New York to attack factories and plants. Two of them were American citizens.
After their capture, FDR sent them to military detention, where they were tried and most of them executed. In Ex Parte Quirin, the Supreme Court upheld the detention and trial by military authorities of American citizens who “associate” with “the military arm of the enemy” and “enter this country bent on hostile acts.” If FDR were president today, Padilla might have fared far worse than he has.”
Investor’s Business Daily had a great article on this:
On Jan. 20, 1981, Ronald Reagan welcomed the return of American hostages in victory. On Jan. 20, 2009, Barack Obama will welcome the closing of Guantanamo in appeasement. Yes, change has come.
For anti-war liberals, closing the prisoner of war camp at Guantanamo has long been a cause celebre, one the president-elect warmly embraced.
On ABC’s “This Week,” he gave supporters pause when he suggested actually closing the facility within his first 100 days would be a “challenge.” At least one Obama transition team adviser reassured them on Monday not to worry.
An executive order to close the camp could be issued as early as Inauguration Day. The pathway to trials in American courts with American lawyers and American rights would be set for those jihadists captured on the battlefield trying to kill Americans.
One of the problems is exactly where to relocate the remaining 248 prisoners. Few places are standing in line for the privilege. Maybe ACORN could use a few more volunteers.
This moment stands in stark contrast to the day in 1981 when President Reagan took the oath of office as American hostages were winging their way back to freedom after 444 days of captivity in a Tehran prison. The mullahs set them free rather than deal with a resolute new commander in chief, and in the knowledge they wouldn’t have Jimmy Carter to kick around anymore.
Now it is we who are capitulating. Last May, the Defense Department said at least 36 former Guantanamo detainees are “confirmed or suspected” of having returned to the battlefield. If Obama orders a shift out of Gitmo, you can be sure more terrorists will return to the front.Among those previously released are Abdullah Salim Ali al-Ajmi, who was first detained in Afghanistan and spent three years at Gitmo before being released in 2005. Al-Ajmi returned to Kuwait and last May went to Iraq to become a suicide bomber. He was successful in his new line of work.
Abdullah Mehsud spent 25 months at Gitmo until his release from such inhuman bondage in March 2004. While out on his own recognizance, he returned to his native South Waziristan where he rebuilt and led a Taliban cadre estimated at 5,000 foot soldiers conducting cross-border raids from Pakistan.
Guantanamo is home to some of the world’s most dangerous Islamists: Chechen jihadists, Afghan mujahedeen and Taliban fighters, and al-Qaida terrorists from across the Middle East and North Africa. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, architect of the USS Cole bombing in 2000, are among the 14 “high value” detainees.
Contrary to the conventional wisdom, Gitmo detainees have not been held without some form of adjudication. All have undergone two levels of review, one to determine their status as enemy combatants, the other an annual review to determine their fitness for release. Obviously this part is not an exact science.
Guantanamo and the incarceration and interrogation of its inhabitants have saved thousands of American lives and untold tragedy. While it has existed, America’s enemies have had a harder time plying their trade.
In his first post-election interview with “60 Minutes” last Nov. 16, Obama said: “I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. I’ve said repeatedly that America doesn’t torture, and I’m going to make sure that we don’t torture.
“Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America’s moral stature in the world.”
We are more concerned with guaranteeing America’s survival.