How Team Obama Broke His Promise To Close Club Gitmo

This Sunday morning in the Washington Post’s print edition, there is a long, long article which is entitled “Guantanamo Bay: Why Obama hasn’t fulfilled his promise to close the facility.” Alternate title, per the web permalink, “how the White House lost the fight to close it.” Strangely missing from the article is the proven fact that Team Obama is mostly comprised of heavily partisan hacks with little experience actually sitting in executive offices, and that their leader thinks that giving a speech telling people to “get ‘er done” is all the work that is necessary

The sputtering end of the Obama administration’s plans to prosecute Khalid Sheik Mohammed in federal court came one day late last month in a conversation between the president and one of his top Cabinet members.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. had called President Obama to inform him that he would be returning the case to the Defense Department, a decision that would mark the effective abandonment of the president’s promise to close the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

During the call, Obama did not press Holder to find a way to resurrect the federal prosecution of Mohammed and four co-defendants, according to senior administration officials familiar with the conversation. He did not object. Instead, he called it a pragmatic decision.

In other words, he didn’t object because attempting to do so would be hard work, and would get in the way of campaigning and stuff. As someone at Ace of Spades once wrote “Obama wants to BE president. He doesn’t want to DO president.”

It was a fittingly quiet coda to the effort to close the military detention center. For more than two years, the White House’s plans had been undermined by political miscalculations, confusion and timidity in the face of mounting congressional opposition, according to some inside the administration as well as on Capitol Hill. Indeed, the failed effort to close Guantanamo was reflective of the aspects of Obama’s leadership style that continue to distress his liberal base – a willingness to allow room for compromise and a passivity that at times permits opponents to set the agenda.

Notice that the White House blames their own incompetence on Congress, a Congress that was owned with large majorities. As far as compromise and passivity, that is simply a left wing whine. They substitute those two for Team Obama’s incompetence, lack of leadership experience, and a willingness to never want to actually work to make things happen, never take the hard road.

“During 2009 and early 2010, he is totally engaged in the struggle to get health-care reform,” a White House participant said when asked about the president’s engagement with the effort to close Guantanamo. “That occupies his mind, and his time.”

Obama’s first act as President was to sign an order to close Gitmo. He said many times during his Parthenon campaign that he would close it, because holding stone cold jihidis there was mean. Apparently, he didn’t have time to follow through on something that was, like the health care legislation, very unpopular with the American people. Especially the part about trying jihadis a few blocks from the former site of the World Trade Center. Hey, he could send them to his home state of Illinois…oh, wait, he’s promised not to do that. Dick Durban and Mark Kirk should be very wary of any promise that Obama makes to them about that, since every Obama promise comes with an expiration date.

Administration officials lay blame for the failed initiative on Congress, including Democrats who deserted the president, sometimes in droves. The debate, they said, became suffused with fear – fear that transferring detainees to American soil would create a genuine security threat, fear that closing Guantanamo would be electoral suicide. Some Democratic lawmakers pleaded with the White House not to press too hard, according to administration officials.

Democrats, meet Obama’s big bus.

The White House asserts it was fully engaged in the effort to close Guantanamo.

“Any claim that the White House didn’t fight to close Guantanamo is just flat wrong,” spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

By fight, Vietor means “Obama gave a speech.” In Obama World, giving a pre-game speech is apparently supposed to Get Things Done. Fortunately, for those who hate seeing this country destroyed, Obama usually fails to come out of the locker for the start of the game to actually provide leadership and coaching.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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