Related Newswire Articles on Guantanamo – Politico


Newswire Updates:

Obama vs. Cheney: Just the facts
from Politico by Josh Gerstein

President Barack Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney laid out a variety of arguments Thursday in staking out two widely divergent views of national security in the age of terror.

But do their claims hold up?

Here is a look at some of the central assertions by each man, and the evidence that does – or doesn’t – back them up.

OBAMA: “The courts have spoken. They have found there is no legitimate reason to hold 21 of the people confined at Guantanamo….I cannot ignore these rulings.”

The reality: The legal situation is not as dire or urgent as Obama suggested.

For example, only one judge has ordered the release of Guantanamo detainees into the United States. That ruling, involving 17 Uighur men, was stayed and later overturned by a federal appeals court.

It’s true about two dozen detainees have been ordered released by federal judges. But at the moment those orders are largely unenforceable due to a D.C. Circuit Court ruling denying judges the authority to bring detainees to the United States.

While Obama “cannot ignore” the rulings, he certainly doesn’t have to do much right now to comply with them. But making it sound like he’s under pressure from the courts makes it sound like he has no choice but to close Gitmo

Reid: We still need Gitmo details
from Politico by Alex Isenstadt,Manu Raju

After being pounded all week by Republicans over Guantanamo Bay, Democrats are reacting cautiously to President Barack Obama’s high-profile speech imploring Congress to help him close the detention facility.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warned that Obama’s still needed to lay out a detailed plan for closing the detention center. Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, whose home state of New York will be the venue of the first court battle with a Guantanamo detainee, said Democrats would have “patience” for Obama’s plans. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Obama’s speech “changes the contours of the debate,” but said that Democrats had “felt they were in a vulnerable position because they were being asked to defend a policy that they didn’t know.”

“We’re all awaiting the details of the plan and the president is going to come up with one,” Reid told reporters, saying it was “important” that Obama laid out a “broad vision” on Thursday. “The problems of Guantanamo came from the previous administration … But we are wanting and willing to work with him to come up with a responsible solution.”

Cheney: ‘No middle ground’
from Politico by Jonathan Martin

Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday leveled his harshest indictment yet of President Barack Obama’s approach to the war on terror, saying the president’s efforts to dismantle Bush-era policies have left the nation dangerously exposed to another attack.

“If liberals are unhappy about some decisions, and conservatives are unhappy about other decisions, then it may seem to them that the President is on the path of sensible compromise,” Cheney said. “But in the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground, and half-measures keep you half exposed.”

“You cannot keep just some nuclear-armed terrorists out of the United States, you must keep every nuclear-armed terrorist out of the United States. Triangulation is a political strategy, not a national security strategy,” Cheney said.

He also says those who call Bush interrogation practices torture — as Obama has — are people who engage in “contrived indignation and phony moralizing on the interrogation methods applied to a few captured terrorists.”

GOP: Keep detainees out of U.S.
from Politico by David Rogers

Senate Republicans settled Monday on their first line of attack in the battle over closing the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay: No detainees can come to American soil.

With the blessing of his party leaders, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) is expected to offer the language as an amendment to a $91.3 billion wartime spending bill that could come before the Senate as early as Tuesday.

The measure now includes $80 million requested by President Barack Obama to begin to carry out his January executive order that Guantanamo be closed by early next year. The House last week stripped out all of the money, but Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) has charted a middle course, keeping the money intact but allowing none of it to be released until the White House comes forward with a detailed plan to address security concerns among lawmakers.

Democrats see lack of planning on Guantanamo Bay
By Alex Isenstadt | Politico

“I think there are prisons probably in this country that are in places which are very secure and not in populated areas which might be willing to take on these folks,” Levin told POLITICO. “That would be helpful if there are still places [willing to take detainees in]. I think there are still places, but if the will is there I don’t know.”


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