Closing Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay – without a plan

Today, President Obama signed an Executive Order to delay a decision his administration will soon need to make. By signing the order within the first 48 hours of his presidency, he throws a bone to the liberal left, placates them with a quick salvo fired at Bush, and kicks the can down the road.

The can is going to soon roll back down the hill, and he does not seem to have a plan.

The order references the Geneva Conventions, but as we all know terrorists are not a signatory to the Conventions and they – quite frankly – use the rules against us. That policy is chapter one of the Terrorist 101 syllabus.

I quote from the order

In view of the significant concerns raised by these detentions, both within the United States and internationally, prompt and appropriate disposition of the individuals currently detained at Guantánamo and closure of the facilities in which they are detained would further the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and the interests of justice.

Does this say that releasing terrorists – who have fought and plotted against us and deemed the Geneva Conventions irrelevant – would improve our national security?

The paragraph continues.

Merely closing the facilities without promptly determining the appropriate disposition of the individuals detained would not adequately serve those interests. To the extent practicable, the prompt and appropriate disposition of the individuals detained at Guantánamo should precede the closure of the detention facilities at Guantánamo.

Obama has released this Executive Order without a plan. There is no explanation of what will happen with the Gitmo terrorists.

A couple of notes before sharing a few paragraphs from a novel I recently read. This Executive Order only deals with detainees in Guantanamo Bay, it does not discuss other locations where terrorists may be held. In section 8…

Nothing in this order shall prejudice the authority of the Secretary of Defense to determine the disposition of any detainees not covered by this order.

Wink wink … there is more!

If any individuals covered by this order remain in detention at Guantánamo at the time of closure of those detention facilities, they shall be returned to their home country, released, transferred to a third country, or transferred to another United States detention facility in a manner consistent with law and the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.

Can someone say symbolism over substance? This paragraph seems to indicate an option would be to transfer the prisoners to another detention facility, possibly outside of the United States!

Others discussing include Hot Air, Gateway PunditPower Line, Volokh Conspiracy, Sister Toldjah (with a new blog theme by the way) and LGF.

The following is from the Vince Flynn novel Extreme Measures. On page 271, this is a snippet of a discussion between two characters, Ralph Wasson and Senator Barbara Lonsdale. I’ll let it stand without commentary.

[Wasson] “… You ask the people if they are pro-torture, and ninety plus percent say no. You then ask them what the CIA should do if they catch a senior al-Qaeda member who has carried out attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq that have killed thousands. You then tell them that the CIA has solid information an attack is looming and this man has information that could help stop it. You then ask them if they are okay with slapping this guy around and making him think he’s about to drown and all of a sudden seventy percent of them are pro-torture.

“Now” – Wassen wagged a finger at his boss – “I can get that number to over ninety percent if you give the people a third option.”

“What’s that?”

“Don’t tell me what’s going on. Just take care of it. I don’t need to know everything my government does.”

“So the options are torture, don’t torture, or stick you head in the sand.”


“That’s ridiculous.”

“That’s reality, Babs.”

Posted in

Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. theignorantfisherman on January 22, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    What a first day! what's on the plate for tomorrow?…. sinking all are ships and giving all our nukes to Iran?    he's…on a roll…..

  2. Wayne SW on January 23, 2009 at 2:08 am

    Executive decision first, (photo opp), plan later.  Kind of Cowboyish….shoot from the hip, then go see what damage the bullets left behind.

    Obama is an ametuer……way over his head.

  3. skepticalcynic on January 23, 2009 at 3:15 am

    Our history of the American people is HIGHLIGHTED by acting AFTER a disaster and almost always never BEFORE.  Considering that the main responsiblity of our government is to PROTECT AMERICANS, the thought of NOT using ANY means to protect US, is, to me, equal to breaking the law.

    As our VP as stated (its funny how misspeaking is no longer a great sin for our leaders) we WILL get attacked soon, and when it occurs,  there will be a cry for reinstating torture…..after the sacrifice of AMerican lives.

    My take?  The CIA does what you quoted , simply torture regardless of the law.   And they will be in the right. Protect Americans. Protect us.

  4. davis on January 23, 2009 at 7:59 am

    I do not recall former Pres. Bush having a plan for Gitmo, other than kicking the can down the road, leaving the terrorists w/o a trial (in spite of all the promises about military tribunals) and letting the next president deal with it. At least they are even on not having a plan (yet).  Perhaps one should read carefully what was written and what the next step is.

    • Steve McGough on January 23, 2009 at 8:17 am

      The plan was take the terrorists detained and move them to Gitmo. Then, see if we can get information from them to help us protect the United States of America. Many of the ones deemed less dangerous were "rehabbed" and released. Quite a few went back to what they were doing before, and one guy (that we know of) is now the number two guy in Yemen's al-Qaida outfit. When the war was over – God willing – they would be released. This game is totally different than World War I or World War II. You just can not take these terrorists and bring them to an open U.S. courtroom to be tried by 12. That was the plan.

  5. skepticalcynic on January 23, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Well now that mean ole Mr. Bush is bye bye and the kinder more excepting "messiah" gitmo will be no more.  Neither will games, exercise, prayer mats and sunshine.  In stead, federal prison will be in their future.  Skinheads just LOVE terrorists.  So?  Looks like an hour of exercise and 23 locked up alone.   But the ugliness of gitmo will be gone………….

  6. davis on January 23, 2009 at 11:20 am

    GREAT PLAN, Steve! IT DID NOT WORK, and the dirty work is left to whomever comes next as Pres.

    None of your statements in bold, I must say, panned out  except for the recalling the two WW's, before we were even born (very relevant to today's discussion!). How come you did not go further back like the Civil War, the War of 1812 or the Revolutionary War? They certainly are relevant to 2008, don't you think?

    As I have said before, the Republicans/Conservatives, their representatives etc. are always in the right, thank God.

The website's content and articles were migrated to a new framework in October 2023. You may see [shortcodes in brackets] that do not make any sense. Please ignore that stuff. We may fix it at some point, but we do not have the time now.

You'll also note comments migrated over may have misplaced question marks and missing spaces. All comments were migrated, but trackbacks may not show.

The site is not broken.