The Obama administration, fearing a battle with Congress that could stall plans to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, is drafting an executive order that would reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely, according to three senior government officials with knowledge of White House deliberations.
Such an order would embrace claims by former president George W. Bush that certain people can be detained without trial for long periods under the laws of war. Obama advisers are concerned that bypassing Congress could place the president on weaker footing before the courts and anger key supporters, the officials said.
After months of internal debate over how to close the facility in Cuba, White House officials are increasingly worried that reaching quick agreement with Congress on a new detention system may be impossible. Several officials said there is concern in the White House that the administration may not be able to close the facility by the president’s January deadline.
Posts Tagged ‘Gitmo’
Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters nationwide now disagree with President Barack Obama’s decision to close the prison camp for suspected terrorists at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, conducted after the President’s speech on Guantanamo last week, shows that 38% agree with his decision.
Just 25% share the President’s view that the Guantanamo camp weakened national security. Fifty-one percent (51%) disagree with that perspective.
And, by a 57% to 28% margin, voters oppose moving any of the suspected terrorists to prisons in the United States. Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major party strongly oppose transfers to U.S. prisons. Democrats are evenly divided.
Just 15% now say the President is Very Likely to close the prison camp during his first year in office while 6% say that is Not at All Likely to happen. Two-thirds of the nation’s voters are not so sure—35% say the President is Somewhat Likely to close the prison camp while 30% say he is Not Very Likely to do so.
So will Obama fulfill his vow – announced amid great fanfare in an executive order on day two of his presidency – to close the facility by January 2010? “I think so,” Biden responded, according to Newsweek’s Holly Bailey.
So perhaps he will. Or perhaps not. We’ll see.
Biden continued: “But, look, what the president said is that this is going to be hard. It’s like opening Pandora’s Box. We don’t know what’s inside the box.”
He also said that “to the best of my knowledge” the number of prisoners “who are a real danger who are not able to returned or tried” has “not been established” by the Obama administration.
So he basically just confirmed his predecessor Dick Cheney’s analysis that the decision was taken “with little deliberation, and no plan”.
The gift that keep on giving!