Democrats Showing Lack of Spine on Gitmo

Brilliant Washington Examiner columnist Byron York penned an excellent piece today on perhaps one of President Obama’s most notable losses — Democratic Party support for the closure of the detainee facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The closure of the detention center had been at the center of candidate Barack Obama’s offensive when it came to preying upon Bush administration approaches toward the Global War on Terror and foreign policy in general. Due in part to Obama’s relentless characterization of the facility as an underlying cause of Global discontent toward George W. Bush’s United States of America, shutting down Gitmo became a rallying cry for the far left.

And, indeed, within mere hours of assuming the presidency and settling in behind the resolute desk as 44th president of the United States, Obama fulfilled the left’s mission, adding what many have described as essentially the straw which broke the camel’s back with regard to political correctness and its effect upon the prosecution of the War on Terror.

A new type of discontent followed, this time from the ranks of congressional Democrats and much due to hard work and solid arguments from their Republican counterparts. And just yesterday, news broke that Democrats would not include the $80 million earmarked for the closure of Gitmo in the upcoming $91.3 billion war appropriations bill. Two Democrat senators in particular have been vocal in their dissent, one likely, the other certainly not. York highlighted some of the remarks from Virginia Sen. Jim Webb–the likely dissenter–as well as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid–a shock, at least to me–in his piece today:

The Democrat who changed the terms of the debate is Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, a decorated veteran who give the party credibility on national security issues. Last Sunday, on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Webb, who once supported closing Guantanamo, said that detainees “don’t belong in our judicial system, and they don’t belong in our jails.”

“We spent hundreds of millions of dollars building an appropriate facility with all security precautions in Guantanamo to try these cases,” Webb continued. “There are cases against international law. These aren’t people who were in the United States committing a crime in the United States. These are people who were brought to Guantanamo for international terrorism. I do not believe they should be tried in the United States.”

Other Democrats agreed with Webb, and by Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had joined them. “I think there’s a general feeling…that the American people, and certainly the Senate, overwhelmingly doesn’t want terrorists to be released in the United States,” Reid told reporters at the Capitol. When asked if that included imprisoning Guantanamo detainees in the U.S., Reid said, “If terrorists are released in the United States, part of what we don’t want is them to be put in prisons in the United States. We don’t want them around the United States.”

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that the Democrats saw polling data on the potential release of Gitmo terrorist detainees into U.S. prisons or, worse, into the U.S. itself and decided to change their tune. If nothing else, perhaps the spineless nature of the liberals is coming in handy — this administration, for example, has already changed its tune with regard to the release of detainee photos and, to a certain degree, with military tribunals, so perhaps a similar turnaround with regard to this particular executive order may be a possibility.

Start warming up the telephones, folks. Between this issue and the cap-and-trade bill, and considering the poll-related malleability of your garden-variety liberal, I believe that shutting down the phone lines might be enough to sway things in our favor.



  1. Rix says:

    One thing needs to be stated clearly. Guantanamo crisis is not about money – it’s about politics, about a small and insignificant thing called “safety and security of the homeland”, and that’s why some Democrats may weasel out of it. Au contraire, cap-and-trade taxation is all about money. It is about lining their own pockets and those of their sponsors and their electorate. This kind of issue, my friends, a true Democrat will never compromise on.

  2. KALID... YOU'RE NEXT UP says:

    Priceless pic. Looks like they are awaiting their Nancy Pelosi footrubs and massage.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cap and trade IS about money, but politics enters into it too. It is one of the hallmarks of the UN’s Earth Charter. Listen for words like sustainable, community. This is about a new world order, communitarianism, and just plain centralized global marxism. If they were really interested in “saving the planet” and making America energy independent, they would be looking seriously at nuclear or cold fusion technology! But then again, that would mean less tax dollars in their coffers…money and power, that delicious combination!

    Lisa in TX

  4. CAL says:

    It is rather humorous how they can be so hypocritical – going after Bush on Guantanamo, but then not willing to shut it down once they are in charge. It just shows that political power is of primary importance to the democrats – not the safety and security of the homeland.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I believe the Dems vote against this was a setup, an effort to help Obama save face, at least for now. Consider the fact there was no real plan on how to close Gitmo when he signed the Executive Order to do so. Call me crazy, but…I think this was just a way to buy some time for The One.

    They’ve been turned down by all of the countries they’ve approached to take the prisoners. Most of the states being considered didn’t want them either. Please, they’re concerned about the amount of money it would take to close Gitmo and they had NO problem with the runaway spending on the bailouts?

  6. Gail B says:

    ACT! for America just sent me a petition (against bringing the 240 terrorists into the United States) online to sign, which I did.

    I believe that the negativity of O’s regime is becoming clear.

    If we could just convince enough Dems that nationalized healthcare (putting buckets of money into GE but rationing healthcare and letting the elderly people simply die) is not a good thing because no one will get the care they need, simply to cut government costs, then we will have made a LOT of progress!

    Where is Michael Steele’s emails on this legislation, discouraging support and why? I just received an email from “President Barack Obama” (read “the Democratic Party”) containing a link to Congress (or somewhere) in support of healthcare!

    Later–I’m going to a neighbor’s.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t Reid up for re-election? Hmmm?

  8. Larry Walker Jr says:

    "Republicans successfully sway Dems on Gitmo" -> I like my title better. Kudos to the Dems who flipped. That took guts but was the right thing to do.


    I like it better too, Larry.

  10. Gail B says:

    I’ve been thinking about this, and rather than call those Dems who “saw the light” and cut the funds to close Gitmo ‘spineless,’ I believe they should be thanked for having the testicular fortitude (that’s the term I couldn’t think of the other day) to say NO to The Big O.

    I think there’s more going on after hours than Big O realizes, as far as his “D” gang is concerned. These guys want to stay in office, and I think they’re feeling the heat from both sides of the aisle.

    I’ve worked for two legislatures–Georgia’s and North Carolina’s, and I can tell you that more decisions are made, and more gets done, AFTER they adjourn for the day than BEFORE!

  11. tm says:

    So, Congress finally confirms, and the legal system says “mega-dittos”, that President Bush was both wise and prudent in using Guantanamo and indefinitely detaining the enemy combatants. Thus, they further confirm that they were engaged solely in political grandstanding by falsely using these issues prior to the last election. Apology, not accepted dim-o-craps…but thanks anyway.

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