I, like most Americans, and, I suspect all of Congress, listened attentively to your speech on Thursday about the fate of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Your decision earlier this year to close Gitmo within the year left most of us wondering how you would accomplish this. Even the Democrat controlled Congress was concerned enough that they denied your request for $80 million to accomplish the closure unless they first knew what your plan was.
Here’s what I read this morning:
White House officials have said Thursday’s speech will provide more detail on the president’s plan for closing Guantanamo.
But, I heard no plan. Instead, I heard, once again, about what you “inherited”. I know exactly what you inherited Mr. President, I lived through it. So, I, for one, am growing tired of the “inherited” speech. You campaigned on what you believed to be wrong with the Bush administration, and its policies, and, you told us you would foster change. Telling us over and over again about what you inherited isn’t change, it’s history. Every President “inherits” from the prior administration. It is the nature of our democratic republic.
I have searched history for any reference that President Truman spoke incessantly about what he inherited from President Roosevelt , or that President Roosevelt spoke incessantly about what he inherited from President Hoover, or that President Wilson spoke incessantly about what he inherited from President Taft, or that your hero, President Lincoln spoke incessantly about what he inherited from President Buchanan. There are no such references, Mr. President.
Those presidents, as all before you, knew exactly what they were getting into before they campaigned for the job. And, so did the American public. Once elected, those presidents simply went about doing that job without pointing fingers at the past, but rather focusing on the future.
Please, Mr. President, don’t tell us what we already know. Tell us what, if anything, you are going to do about it.
Very truly yours,