White House: We blew it on Gitmo
So White House advisor Greg Craig has been stuffed into a broom closet for advising Obama to close Gitmo, a position Obama himself shouted every day from every grassy knoll in the country last year. It was a ridiculous, nakedly political position, divorced from all reality, but the left-wing base just had to be appeased. A fourth grader would have had the sense to ask of and demand an answer from Obama on what he planned to do with the terrorists once he closed Gitmo, but that question apparently didn’t occur to anybody with press credentials. After all, there is nothing inherently evil about Gitmo, any more than there is anything inherently evil about the Pelican Bay supermax prison in California. They are just sticks and bricks. More importantly, those sticks and bricks are on an island, far away from Americans. Why the left would want to close a building on an island and bring terrorists here defies logic.
Anyway, though it took 8 months, the administration has finally admitted what we have all known; they screwed the pooch on Gitmo. From The Washington Post.
With four months left to meet its self-imposed deadline for closing the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Obama administration is working to recover from missteps that have put officials behind schedule and left them struggling to win the cooperation of Congress.
Even before the inauguration, President Obama’s top advisers settled on a course of action they were counseled against: announcing that they would close the facility within one year. Today, officials are acknowledging that they will be hard-pressed to meet that goal.
The White House has faltered in part because of the legal, political and diplomatic complexities involved in determining what to do with more than 200 terrorism suspects at the prison. But senior advisers privately acknowledge not devising a concrete plan for where to move the detainees and mishandling Congress.
First of all, who counseled Team Obama against closing Gitmo? I don’t recall anything but wall to wall proclamations from Obama himself about how he was going to shut it down. So if there were advisors, they apparently knew a lot more about governing than Obama did.
But the big admission is that they had no plan. When you elect a guy who has never run so much as a lemonade stand to be president, you can’t expect to have him succeed, never mind excel, at a job as complex as that of President of the United States.
Of course no failure of the Obama administration would be complete without blaming George W. Bush for his part in the debacle.
Craig said Thursday that some of his early assumptions were based on miscalculations, in part because Bush administration officials and senior Republicans in Congress had spoken publicly about closing the facility. “I thought there was, in fact, and I may have been wrong, a broad consensus about the importance to our national security objectives to close Guantanamo and how keeping Guantanamo open actually did damage to our national security objectives,” he said.
I am sure everyone remembers Bush and his pals all talking about closing Guantanamo Bay all year last year, right? Uh, well it slips my memory, but I am sure we have video of Bush and Obama at a press conference talking about the bipartisan plan to close Gitmo. Anybody seen that?
I didn’t think so.