Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Democrats won't fund Guantanamo closing - But wait, they're the ones that wanted to close it...

from Breitbart.com
by Andrew Taylor
Associated Press Writer
May 19, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's allies in the Senate will not provide funds to close the Guantanamo Bay prison next January, a top Democratic official said Tuesday.

With debate looming on Obama's spending request to cover military and diplomatic operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the official says Democrats will deny the Pentagon and Justice Department $80 million to relocate Guantanamo's 241 detainees.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the proposed changes to the bill were to be unveiled later.

The administration has yet to develop a plan for what to do with the detainees, and Obama's promise to close the facility is facing strong GOP opposition.

It appears to be a tactical retreat. Once the administration develops a plan to close the facility, congressional Democrats are likely to revisit the topic, provided they are satisfied there are adequate safeguards.

The developments on Capitol Hill came as the Pentagon said it still expects the prison at Guantanamo Bay to be closed by January 2010 as Obama has ordered.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters on Tuesday that he sees nothing to indicate the January 2010 deadline will be delayed.

Republicans are poised with an amendment by James Inhofe of Oklahoma that would block any of the 241 Guantanamo detainees from ever coming to U.S. soil to stand trial or serve their sentences.

"Shuttering this facility now could only serve one end: and that is to make Americans less safe than Guantanamo has," said GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

The massive war spending measure otherwise sticks closely to Obama's request—unlike a House version that reversed a Pentagon plan to stop production of C-17 cargo planes.

The House bill effectively exceeds Obama's request by almost $12 billion, adding $2.2 billion to foreign aid accounts, refusing to fund the closing of Guantanamo, and funding eight C-17 cargo planes despite Defense Secretary Robert Gates' desire to cease purchases of the aircraft as part of his effort to reform Pentagon procurement.
Click to read the article and the comments

No comments:

Post a Comment