If the stimulus is considered President Obama's biggest legislative victory of his young presidency, then today's Senate vote not to allow funds to build a new facility must be considered his biggest legislative defeat. In fact, it's rather stunning that the Democratic legislature has so thoroughly rejected the platform of their very popular president.
The vote today is of monumental consequence. By voting not to allow for funding to build any new prisons, the Congress has stopped any such plans until October 1st at the earliest. This vote is for the budget that runs out September 30th. President Obama made the proclamation that GITMO would be closed by January 21st, 2010. This vote makes that proclamation nearly impossible. Furthermore, in the same vote, the Senate also ruled out moving any of these folks into the United States.
Tomorrow, the president is planning a major speech on foreign policy and the word is that his GITMO policy will be fleshed out. This is a speech I look forward to hearing unlike most. That's because I have no idea what his policy will be. Furthermore, this Senate vote means he is even more boxed in. At this point, the only place left for President Obama to put these folks is Bagram.
Bagram is the base in Afghanistan. It also houses hundreds of terrorists, most of which have been picked up in either Pakistan and Afghanistan. In fact, President Obama's own executive order means that those currently housed in Bagram will be treated in a way that will be nearly indistinguishable from the way in which they were treated in GITMO and condemned by then candidate Obama.
Very few in the media have noticed the brazen hypocrisy of Obama on GITMO and Bagram. Those folks are often held for years with no rights and charges. They receive little constitutional protections and many of the very interrogations he has condemned at GITMO go on in Bagram.
If, in fact, he decides to move all these folks there, the world will notice that there is no difference.
In fact, that's why I look forward to the speech. I don't really see any alternative and so I am very curious to see what the president has decided. To me, the executive order President Obama signed declaring GITMO closed within a year was the first evidence of the potential that his arrogance could wraught. Furthermore, it's another example of the hypocrisy of those that cover him. For years, the MSM kept banging the drum that Bush had no plan in Iraq. Well, without a doubt, Obama had no plan when he decided to close GITMO. Yet, the MSM doesn't seem to concerned with this.
No matter, the chickens on this issue are coming home to roost now. The first major blow was today's vote. We'll see what Obama will come up with tomorrow. If a clear plan is not verbalized, we can all expect GITMO to continue to drag on him for days, weeks, and months.