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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Despite Obama Signing Another Law Barring GITMO Detainee Transfers To US, . . .

. . . His Admin Says "We're Going To Die Trying" To Close GITMO.

Today in Washington, D.C.:
Congress is not in session.

The House is not in session today and will reconvene on Monday, November 16th with no recorded voted until 6:30 PM

The Senate is not in session today and will reconvene on Monday, November 16th at 3 PM.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted 91-3 to concur in the House amendment to S. 1356, the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (Defense authorization bill), thus passing the bill and sending it to the president for his signature. The three no votes were by Merkley (D-OR). socialist Democrat Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Wyden (D-OR). Note voting were 6 Republicans which included four candidates for the Republican nomination: Senators Cruz (R-TX), Graham (R-SC), Heller (R-NV), Paul (R-KY), Rubio (R-FL), and Vitter (R-LA).

The Senate also voted 93-0 to pass H.R. 2029, the Fiscal Year 2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill, as amended. Even Sanders(I-VT) voted yes. Not Voting were Cruz (R-TX), Gardner (R-CO), Graham (R-SC), Heller (R-NV), Paul (R-KY), Rubio (R-FL), and Vitter (R-LA)

In addition the Senate voted 82-7 to invoke cloture on the motion to go to conference with the House on H.R. 22, the highways bill. Senators then voted 56-31 to instruct conferees to allow the Transportation Secretary to issue a rule on the lengths of semi-trucks with double trailers. The no votes were all by Republicans.

Both of the above bills included provisions prohibiting the president from moving Guantanamo terror detainees to the United States. Thus an overwhelming majorities of Congress have agreed that these detainees should not be moved to the U.S. In fact the votes would have been higher if all Republicans had voted.

The Wall Street Journal noted Tuesday, “The White House said that President Barack Obama would sign the annual defense policy bill passed by the Senate on Tuesday, despite his objections to its provisions keeping open the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. . . . [T]he new defense policy bill retains other provisions opposed by Mr. Obama, chiefly a prohibition on transferring detainees at Guantanamo to the U.S. through 2016. . . . ‘We have long expressed our disappointment at the repeated effort by Congress to impede the closing of the prison at Guantanamo Bay. The president believes closing that prison is a national security priority,’ White House press secretary Josh Earnest said . . . .”

Yet President Obama has signed legislation into law that contains this prohibition, going all the way back to 2009. This year’s Defense authorization bill will mark the sixth one in a row that includes the prohibition on moving Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. that the president has signed into law.

Unfortunately, President Obama has demonstrated time and again that he’s willing to simply disregard the law when it’s inconvenient to his political goals. As The Wall Street Journal pointed out, “Mr. Obama’s decision not to veto the $607 billion defense bill for a second time makes it more likely that he will decide to go around Congress to fulfill his longstanding pledge to close the prison, setting up an election-year fight with Republicans that could end up in court.”

Indeed, CNN reported last week, “White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, asked about the possibility that President Barack Obama could take unilateral moves to transfer detainees to the United States, said all options remain in play. ‘At this point, I would not take anything off the table in terms of the President doing everything that he can to achieve this critically important national security objective,’ Earnest said.”

And National Security Advisor Susan Rice told Reuters about administration efforts to close the Guantanamo detention facility, “I can't say with certainty that we're 100 percent going to get there, but I can tell you we're going to die trying.” This is the same Susan Rice that spread the false lie that the attack on Bendhazi was because of a video.

It’s worth recalling that President Obama once acknowledged Congress’ ability to limit the president’s actions. As a candidate in 2008, Obama said, “Congress's job is to pass legislation. The president can veto it or he can sign it. … I believe in the Constitution and I will obey the Constitution of the United States. We're not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end-run around Congress.”

And, he spent two years insisting that “this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true.” He also said, “I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books … Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. . . . But that's not how our system works. That's not how our democracy functions. That's not how our Constitution is written.” And “I am president, I am not king. I can't do these things just by myself.” As recently as 2013, President Obama was reminding people, “I'm not a king. I am the head of the executive branch of government. I'm required to follow the law.”

Even the editorial board of The Denver Post is warning the president not to attempt to move terror detainees from Guantanamo Bay in defiance of Congress: “One of Barack Obama's consistent pledges as a candidate for president and after his election was to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. . . . [I]t is one he should abandon after the U.S. Senate on Tuesday joined the House in passing a 2016 national defense act that bars transfers of prisoners to the mainland. He should abide by the restriction rather than defy Congress and claim authority to act on his own.”

The Post editors write, “Alarmingly, though, there are reports the president could act unilaterally to transfer prisoners. . . . He shouldn't. We say that having supported all along his goal of closing Guantanamo as well as the policy of finding countries willing to accept enemy combatants. . . . But Congress does have the power of the purse. If it decides, however unwisely, to bar ‘the use of funds provided to any department or agency ... for the transfer or release of individuals’ detained at Guantanamo to or within the U.S., then Obama should abide by the prohibition rather than resort to a clever legal rationale that claims he can act on his own.”
The issue should not be closing GITMO because of its location on U.S territory in Cuba. The issue should be what War Crimes and other illegal actions have foreign (not American) combatants taken against the U.S., our allies, and  noncombatants. Why have they not been tried before an established military tribunal with senior oversight of experienced Federal judges? Based on the sentence determined they should either executed for any "high" war crimes, or the remaining period of incarceration determined for crimes committed, or released to their former country from which they were captured.

No legal resident Americans should ever be threaten with transport to GITMO or any location outside of the USA.

Tags: President Obama. GITMO, NDAA, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 1:00 PM - Post Link


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