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Obama prepares to hold Gitmo guys indefinitely, just as Bush did

Guantanamo Bay detention facility for suspected terrorists

In yet another sign of political perfidy, the White House of President George W. Bush has drafted a presidential executive order that would allow that double-dealing Republican chief executive to hold suspected terrorist detainees indefinitely.

According to the president's intentions, such suspects could be detained for long periods of time, virtually indefinitely. Is this really what the nation voted for last November?

Oh, wait. No. According to an exclusive Washington Post/Pro Publica report this afternoon, it's the refreshing new Democratic administration of Barack Obama that's now preparing this new executive order to hold certain terrorist suspects indefinitely.

This is an obviously inspiring sign of the new style of leadership the Democrat promised and is finally bringing to the White House. As one blogger put it, George W. Obama. And it shows the kind of powerful political pragmatism with which the ex-senator from Illinois approaches this job at such a crucial and globally turbulent time.Strangely, it was leaked to the Post on a slow summer Friday afternoon when it wouldn't gain much attention.

According to the Post report, the 44th president is now starting to think that closure of the internationally-reviled Guantanamo Bay detention facility, which Obama announced with so much fanfare on his first day in office last winter, may be impossible to actually accomplish before the one-year deadline he set for himself before actually planning where else to put these prisoners.

In other words, fanfare aside, status quo ante. Democrat or Republican, same deal. Ex-Vice President Dick Cheney will be so pleased that the Obama-Biden folks finally accepted his advice to protect national security.

Another sign, finally, of real change after eight long years of the very same thing.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (19)

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Look, sorry Obies (Not!) but these policies that you abhor so much are, as we see, unavoidable given the circumstances (Global jihad against, um... US!) even with the Magical Mystery Pixie Dust of Barack Obama at full thrust. Deal with it. Frankly, I am glad to have something to be proud of my President for. Do you know how that feels?

I wonder what the left wing nuts think about this? After calling Bush every vile name from Hitler to torturer, we don't hear a peep out of them.
Now in addition to being dangerously mean and sadistic, lefties are hypocrites, something they've always accused conservatives of being.

Hey Andrew- perhaps the 'O' just found out that the previous admin was RIGHT about how dangerous these guys really are.

Since you think both current and prior Admins are all wet, how about you volunteer to take, say, two of them on your block? Or your spare room?

This is absurd - we get an almost filibuster-proof majority and the Democrats start acting like paranoid, fear-driven Republicans. "Yes, we want to close Gitmo, but not if those poor Afghanis are going to come to the U.S." - WTF? Someone please remind me what Cheney, er uh Bush had going through his mind when he decided to bring these people to Cuba instead of building the prison in Kabul? Does that make sense to anyone, because it doesn't to me. Oh yeah, he wanted to torture them. sorry...

These crooks are all the same, it doesn't matter if it's the Red Team or the Blue Team. Just two different heads on the same abominable hydra.

The U.S. is a joke at this point. Let it collapse under the weight of its own debt, I say. Secession for all the 50 states... it's the only way out at this point.

These people are dangerous. There is no need to get rid of Gitmo. It's a perfectly good institution. The Stigma attached to it, because of only a few, can be changed.

Change the name of Gitmo, to something else. Get new personnel in there.

No reason to try and ask other countries to take these prisoners, because nobody else wants them, and who can blame them.

Get over it people. President Obama, should keep these detainees right where they are.

"Hey Andrew- perhaps the 'O' just found out that the previous admin was RIGHT about how dangerous these guys really are."

I guess the thing that's the most contemptible about Americans is what terrible, terrible cowards they are, despite having as many weapons as all the rest of humanity put together.

The 9/11 terrorists could never have succeeded if the US's supposed "defense" forces hadn't completely failed to do their jobs, up and down the line.

But 9/11 is a small thing compared to the terrible havoc that the US has wrought on the world over my lifetime. The bombing of Laos and Cambodia alone killed between 30 and 200 times as many people as died in 9/11.

Now a few men who've been tortured in US concentration camps for many years, imprisoned based on rumors and hearsay, are so, so dangerous to you big, tough Americans that you have to throw away all the freedoms that you once held dear.


Here is one "lefty" who has said from the start that OBushma is a fraud.

What is this silly BS about anyone being "too dangerous" for a trial?

Hope you people who support this kind of behavior will be happy when that same standard starts being applied to American citizens.

It's always exciting finding what other piece of legislation they'll pass on Friday when the press has gone home for the weekend. Sneaky little thugs. I've been telling one of my friends "just watch what they do on Fridays when it won't get reported." And BAM ,every Friday is another one.

What? You didn't really expect him to do everything you wanted did you? Once he became President, he became privy to even more sensitive information and he also played it safer by continuing the status quo as opposed to change which brings new concerns. If a released prisoner or a repatriated prisoner would do America harm again, he would never live it down. Guantanamo had no harsh interrogations techniques such as water boarding performed there. The pictures everyone talks about were Abu Grabe in Iraq. Also to all the liberals who suggest we should extend the Geneva convention to these supposed Prisoners of war with no clear enemy state, have you considered that POW's are generally held until the war is over and are not released to go back to fight. Either that or they are not POW's and the Genva convention does not apply. Pick one.

While I did not vote for Obama, I'm glad to see this happen. That said, it is enraging that he continues the policies of the Bush Admin (which we come to expect from this turd who knows nothing about what "leading a nation") and the ******* media and lefists who'll just pretend this never happened and give him a pass. To them it's "At least we don't have BUSH anymore" and justify every and anything Barack Obama does. To that I want to scream and never stop.....the hypocritical convictionless bastages.

The whole Bush torturer US evil for GITMO theme was merely a tool used by TV, media producers and editors who shared Obama's broad leftist ideological goals to help him gain office by fooling YOU MORONS. You are about to learn what collectivism does to wealth and broad prosperity. People have no clue how good they have it under the current mixed system. The cost in taxes on producers in order to help spread the wealth around and help produce even socio-economic outcomes will destroy productivity. I own a small business and my goal is to never need to have to hire any employees. It is simply not worth the headache. It all may look good on paper in the academic setting but people who are productive will not become slaves in order to help politicians give out "free" bennies so they can maintain and grow their power. Sadly most people think the "rich" pay no taxes. I make a modest income and my total tax burden is around 50% not including sales and property tax and all the tolls and state user fees (15.8% self employment tax 8% state income, 28% federal). In a UK style govt run medical system my perfectly healthy 85 yo mom would have been told to suck an egg and enjoy that wheelchair because hip replacements cost too much and she wont be around long enough and is not producing tax revenue for the collective. So rich editors and media gatekeepers who could pay 70% in taxes and still have millions have promoted Obama and gained him office so his leftist aganda can pound the rest of my motivation into the ground with even more taxes. By the time it all crashes down in 10-20 yrs. I will be old and poor and some young joker will tell me to get a job rather than retire because all those bennies that taxed me to death are no longer available.

Nothing about this story changes the fact that Bush's policies were incompetent and immoral. But Obama may have to continue some of his policies because we have in custody dangerous people who can't be processed legally because the evidence against them is tainted by torture and other illegal methods. If Obama was in the White House when these people were taken into custody we would have handled them within a legitimate and functional legal framework instead of acting like scared chicken hawks and shedding our American traditions because Bush Jr and Deferment Dick were scared and panicked.

No-one is suggesting these prisoners be set free. Clearly, the best option here is to have them transfered to maximim security facilities either in the US or abroad. I don't know why suddenly maximum security prisons are so unsafe, terrorists are going to escape, perhaps even the terrorists who are already in there. When did US prisons get so crummy? Answer me that, America-adoring conservatives.

Meet the new boss... same as the old boss..

As a strong supporter of Obam,I am worried about his recent actions and statements.1,Iran 2,Pakistan,3,Health care cost 4,Iraq,5,G Jail.
He had prospects to be the world leader which he has destroyed by some of his U turns.It seems he is submitting to the pressures......................,may God help him.

Does anyone think these opponents to Gitmo Bay have ever set foot on that Camp? These people want to kill your silly asses. What is wrong with these headline coveting fools like the L.A. Times?

I am glad Obama decided to do the right thing. He is so worried about looking like Bush.Why can't he just act like Obama and run the country without his hatred towards Republicans

They should be treated as prisoners of war. Guess what you hold onto your POW's until the war is over... and this thing is far from over...


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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