McClatchy is running a story this morning asserting that the recent terrorism attempt is going to raise some further obstacles to closing Guantanamo:

Likely casualty of air plot: Obama’s Guantanamo plans

At the center of the issue is the fact that two Guantanamo prisoners, released by the Bush administration in 2007, have been identified as responsible for planning the failed attempt to set off an explosive on Flight 253.

The Obama administration is already dealing with a number of legal entanglements that block the closing of the facility, as well as political opposition from the right. And as it turns out, nearly half of the 198 captives at Guantánamo are citizens of Yemen, 40 of whom have been scheduled for release.

With the likely outcome that, with more Yemenis returning home from Guantanamo, at least some of them will join forces with radical elements in their home country, Mr. Obama faces a difficult situation.

My opinion is that Guantanamo should be closed. It is an affront to the U.S. legal system, and creates problems — spectacularly demonstrated by the recent bombing attempt. Where we have a legal case, we put the person on trial. Where we don’t, we need to release the detainee. The Guantanamo situation is a similar to what happens when we put innocent or harmless people in jail, only to have them criminalized by their environment. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. And we do allow those people return to society.

What do we do with Guantanamo prisoners? Do we release them and suffer possible consequences of our bad decision in opening the facility in the first place? Do we add a potential 40 additional radicals to al Qaeda’s ranks in Yemen? Or do we continue to hold these people without legal grounds?

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KevenSeven
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Nobody said being president was an easy job.

Pity the BushCo thugs could not be troubled to treat the criminals that they arrested like criminals that they hoped to prosecute.

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bito
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Did BushCo. even have a plan to do any such thing? What was their plan on anything? Bush claimed that the fighting in Afghanistan was over and the “people were now free.” If the war was over, don’t you free the POW’s?

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Scheherazade
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Guantanamo has become a symbol of the hypocrisy of America.

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

How can we even have a statue with a plaque which displays these words and continue to allow Guantanamo to remain open? It’s madness!

I don’t care about the details of their status. Even people in the GOP were uncomfortable with using the term “enemy combatant” to imprison people indefinitely without trial. If we’re a country of laws then those laws should apply equally to everyone who breaks them. We cannot simply use legal semantics to justify inhuman and unjust behavior. Closing Guantanamo would symbolize our nation’s rejection of hypocrisy and an embrace of legal justice.

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whatsthatsound
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Complete agreement!
This is about what WE stand for, first and foremost.

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Emerald1943
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I agree completely with you, scher! It was, however, reported that some of the people who helped to plan the bombing of the plane on Christmas had been released by the Bush administration from Gitmo. Ironic, isn’t it! This is why I don’t envy the President right now with the decisions he faces. Damned if he does…damned if he doesn’t.

I do have faith in President Obama and believe he WILL do the right thing. These men must be tried or released. Indefinite detention is just wrong!

At this moment, the issue is being discussed on CNN. The “talking head” says that the politicization of the issue should be put aside.

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Gretel1or2
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Gretel1or2

I agree with you on this one. It’s a tough decision, but they should be tried or released. Thankfully, it appears that the WH is prepared to stick to Obama’s original plan, if this article is accurate.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/12/30/820489/-White-House-stands-firm-on-Gitmo-closure

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Scheherazade
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Thanks for posting that article. 🙂 I hadn’t seen it.

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Scheherazade
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It is my feeling that if the Bush Administration had actually followed the rule of law there would not be the danger of the guilty being free to cause more harm. If the DOJ had actually pursued things as a matter of gathering legal evidence, rather than using torture and other forms of coercion, then we would have a better understanding of who is guilty and who is innocent.

Perhaps that is my idealistic viewpoint. Hehe.

The legal system doesn’t always work, but I feel we’d be better able to prevent things from happening if we actually had applied the legal system the way in which we should have.

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Emerald1943
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You’re right…and I see absolutely nothing wrong with being idealistic! 🙂 After all, it was idealistic men who founded our “representative government”.

No, the legal system doesn’t always work, but it’s a damned site better than anything else I’ve seen. To my way of thinking, this goes deeper than just “the law”…this goes to our deepest and most basic values of fairness and justice “for all”. What a pity that the previous administration did not hold those values in high regard at all!

This issue just brings back into focus the lack of prosecution for the sins of the Bushies. I believe that we cannot wipe this stain from our national soul until these criminals are tried for their crimes. I continue to press for just that.

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javaz
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I agree with Dianne Feinstein that detainees should not be released to Yemen since it is so unstable.

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/73883-senior-democrat-halt-detainee-transfers-to-yemen

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Tiger99
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I believe they were released into the Saudi’s “Art Rehabilitation” program… They were given some crayola’s and water colors then allowed to slip into Yemen to use them to “draw” up their plans…

Heh Heh Heh …

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Emerald1943
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Excellent, nellie!

This is a terrible problem for the President and I don’t envy him the position he’s in. It almost looks as if the Bush administration did everything they could do to complicate his Presidency. It is hard to believe that the people responsible for bringing cases against these men could have been that incompetent. I read, back some time ago, that the files on some of these cases were badly jumbled, incomplete, or completely missing. One man, who was involved in putting the cases back together after President Obama ordered the review, told of finding stacks of documents piled on desks and in drawers and boxes with no organization whatsoever.

The high road is never the wrong road. Bush took us down the wrong road, circumventing every value that we as Americans hold dear. Now, the President is faced with terrible choices and stands to bring more vengeance by Al Qaeda down on us if he releases these men to plan their evil schemes.

I believe President Obama has no choice. He must either try these men, according to the law of our land, or he must release them. Holding them indefinitely without charges goes against everything we stand for, everything we hold up to the world as a light in the darkness. If he does not release them, the terrorists will have won! They will have shown us to be weak indeed, unable to hold to our values under the pressure of threats.

It is a pity that this issue has been so politicized by the right-wing attack machine. President Obama cannot win, no matter which way he goes. God forbid we suffer another attack that involves any of these men! But if it should happen, Barack Obama is the one who will be crucified!

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