Apparently, the honorable and valiant Obama Administration is now considering indefinite detentions for terrorists…something which even the Bush Administration was not advocating.
The proposal being floated with members of Congress is another indication of President Barack Obama’s struggles to establish his counter-terrorism policies, balancing security concerns against attempts to alter Bush-administration practices he has harshly criticized. This comes after leaks have suggested for over a week that the Obama Administration will restart the Bush-era military tribunals instead of trying the suspects in U.S. courts…another clear flip flop for Mr. Obama.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, at a hearing last month, hinted at the administration’s deliberations, saying that there were “50 to 100 [detainees] probably in that ballpark who we cannot release and cannot trust, either in Article 3 [civilian] courts or military commissions.”
The proposal now being considered would be to have a new National Security Court, where these high value terrorists could be tried under more specific regulations. They would restrict access to intelligence and to witnesses, to protect national security. This concept had been widely discussed in the Bush years, but was put aside when Congress intervened, in exchange for the now defunct military tribunal system that John McCain and the gang of 13 put into place.
This is a major defeat for the liberal intelligensia, including President Obama. They chided the Bush Administration for failing to set up a ‘fair’ system to treat these prisoners. And, they mocked the Bush people for failing to work with allies to deport some of the lesser threat terrorists.
Welcome to the game, Mr. President.
Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others that were so quick to castigate foreign policy previously are now in the exact same situation. The military tribunal system (which had a long precedent in law, and was supported by such ‘pro-torture’ politicians such as John McCain…) was the correct system in the first place. Foreign warriors largely do not belong in American courts.
Second, the Obama Administration has failed just as miserably as the Bush White House in convincing foreign countries to take some of these terrorists. Germany is just one of many examples. They are hedging on taking nine (yes, only 9) of these terrorists. And yet, the Obama Administration recently floated the idea to release 19 of them into the public in Virginia. No one wants the headache of watching, tracking, and taking care of these potentially dangerous individuals.
Liberal groups and blogs are outraged. They were under the (false) misconception that Obama could just signe an order, close Gitmo, and all would be well. The ACLU appears to apoplectic. But frankly, Obama is finally behaving like an adult. His rhetoric during the campaign was dangerous and naive. The decisions he has made this week, which are virtually identical to President Bush’s decision (despite anything the White House will say to the contrary), shows the slow maturity of our president when it comes to the War on Terror.