Once more, Barack Obama has shown himself to be a pathetic President. The latest disgrace of the vaulted liberal leader is his failure to stand by his conviction to shut down Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo).
It has been four years since Obama promised to close down the military prison. Now, he wants to provide $196 million in renovations and new construction as requested by his new Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel. Obama has decided keeping enemies of the United States comfortable is more important than meting out justice.
General John F. Kelly, the chief of the U.S. Southern Command, testified before Congress last week that repairs and upgrades are needed at Gitmo, including two new barracks and a new mess hall.
It is ironic that up to 100 “detainees” are on a hunger strike.
Rolling Stone reported: “Eight of the hunger strikers are being force-fed through a tube, a process the United Nations has previously classified as torture. Two hunger strikers have been hospitalized for dehydration.”
I am a libertarian through and through. I say if they want to starve themselves to death, let them — especially if these individuals want to inflict terror against Americans.
What does our President want? He wants to spend money America cannot afford to keep “detainees,” doublespeak for prisoners of war, more comfortable.
Regarding Gitmo, the Obama Administration is dead wrong. It is a classic case of Obama’s wanting his cake and eating it, too.
Obama should either:
- Choose a speedy trial, a basic right to defendants which would also give closure to the victims of those atrocities.
- Or deal decisively with Gitmo prisoners if they remain a clear and present danger to the United States.
Last month, The Daily Beast summed up America’s blundering President regarding Gitmo:
The Obama administration insists it’s doing everything possible to fulfill the president’s pledge. “We are absolutely still committed to closing Gitmo,” National Security Council spokesman, Tommy Vietor, said in an interview. He put the blame elsewhere, saying, “The unfortunate reality is that Congress has gone out of its way to prevent us from doing so, but we still believe closing the facility is in our national security interest.”
Yet experts say the chances of Gitmo closing, at least before Obama’s out of office in 2016, are exceptionally slim.
“Guantanamo is not going to close any time soon,” said Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a right-leaning think tank. “There are too many problems to solve. There are still Yemenis who can’t be repatriated to their home country, there are detainees too dangerous to transfer anywhere and quite a few prisoners who the administration says they cannot try in an open court.”
There is another irony about the President. Last Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that it will begin closing 149 air traffic control towers starting on April 7. The Transportation Security Administration also claimed sequester-caused airport security delays are on the horizon. That means more time at the airport and compromises safe travel.
Meanwhile, Obama is cutting defense spending as part of his $85 billion in automatic spending reductions.
Obama wants to slash spending on the very mechanisms that would prevent another attack against American civilians. Whose side is the President on?
Kill ’Em Or Clear ’Em
I love World War II history. I am proud of my Canadian roots and my American citizenship. I take extraordinary pride that during World War II, the Black Watch of Canada and the U.S. Airborne dealt decisively with the fanatical SS troops that they fought against — fanatics like the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend who refused to take Allied prisoners. They executed hundreds of Allied soldiers outright. In some cases, they even crucified them against trees and buildings. That terror was met in kind by our fathers and grandfathers who mostly accepted the surrender of Wehrmacht soldiers but had no dealings with the SS.
In an article in the Daily Mail, Antony Beevor, a noted historian and writer of World War II, summed up the allied actions of Normandy against the Germans:
With revenge on their minds and nerves still taut after the jump, the American paratroopers-blood was up. A trooper in the 82nd remembered his instructions only too clearly: ‘Take no prisoners because they will slow you down.’
Stories about German soldiers mutilating paratroopers inflamed the Americans still further. A soldier in the 101st recounted how after they had come across two dead paratroopers ‘with their privates cut off and stuck into their mouths’, the captain with them gave the order: ‘Don’t you guys dare take any prisoners! Shoot the bastards!’
Fast-forward six decades and we have Obama who not only wants to hold terrorists but also wants to save them from self-starvation and provide them better living conditions.
Are we at war or are we not? If we are, Obama needs to find some resolve and deal with our enemies. If not, he needs to send these Gitmo prisoners to trial.
Of course, Obama won’t do either. He lacks the gumption to take a stand on Gitmo, just as he lacks it with regard to almost everything else.
Love their politics or hate them, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his top World War II commander in Europe and future President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, dealt with America’s enemies expeditiously. Obama refuses to stand against them. He stands for higher taxes and greater entitlements. That makes him not only an ineffective leader but also a dangerous one.
Yours in good times and bad,
Myers’ Energy & Gold Report