Despite losing his battle to officially close the controversial detention center that he promised the leftists would be one of his first acts when he was elected to office in 2008, President Barack Obama stepped back from his threat to veto a bill after seeing it pass in the House of Representatives with some Democrats joining the Republicans. However, the President’s news media friends downplayed the vote and it outcome not for Obama but for their “cause,” according to police officers opposed to the propect of bringing Gitmo detainees to the U.S.
Obama has ended up signing a defense bill into law just before the Thanksgiving holiday with little fanfare and even littler media coverage. The bill appropriates $607 billion in defense spending and includes stipulations that would make very difficult to close the military prison — located at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — that houses some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists.
Guantanamo is the small piece of Cuba in which U.S. Marines and Naval personnel maintain a military base. With Obama’s recent concessions to communist Cuba’s rulers, Fidel and Raoul Castro, there has been talk that the U.S. may remove its military from that Caribbean island and turn over Guantanamo Bay back the Castro brothers.
White House officials had intimated that Obama would sign the bill despite the Guantanamo provisions so as not to risk his veto being overruled by large numbers of Democrats joining the GOP lawmakers.
Obama has long blasted the prison, claiming it was a recruiting tool for radical Muslim terrorist groups, but has faced objections from lawmakers who do not want detainees to be transferred to prisons on the U.S. mainland.
“As I have said before, the continued operation of this facility weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, and emboldening violent extremists. and partners, and emboldening violent extremists. It is imperative that we take responsible steps to reduce the population at this facility to the greatest extent possible and close the facility,” Obama said in a White House statement.
Obama and his team have attempted to put a positive spin on signing a bill that leaves Guantanamo an active military prison, they were quick to remind Americans that the detainee population at facility — commonly called Gitmo — hads been reduced by about 85 percent from its peak population and there were 57 transfers over the past 24 months, including five detainees who were traded for a U.S. Army sergeant who was subsequently tried for desertion.
However, Obama, who has displayed a penchant for being stubborn even when proven wrong, has claimed that If the ban on detainee transfers violated constitutional separation of powers principles, his administration would “implement them in a manner that avoids the constitutional conflict.”
“In other words, if Obama can find a few attorneys who’ll write an opinion that his actions are constitutional, he will take whatever action he deems correct and let the federal courts deal with the outcome,” said former attorney and political strategist Michael Barker. “That’s how he handled the illegal alien problem and Obamacare,” he added.
Jim Kouri, CPP, is founder and CEO of Kouri Associates, a homeland security, public safety and political consulting firm. He's formerly Fifth Vice-President, now a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, a columnist, and a contributor to the nationally syndicated talk-radio program, the Chuck Wilder Show..
He's former chief of police at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at St. Peter's University and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.