While yesterday’s revelation that Senate Democrats intended to block funding for the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay was portrayed by some in the media as a blow to President Obama and his pledge to close the base by January of next year, it seems the White House is quite comfortable with the decision.
“We agree with Congress that, before resources, they should receive a more detailed plan,” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters. The White House has since promised to reveal “a hefty part” of the strategy tomorrow during a national security speech.
In January, a newly inaugurated President Obama pledged to see the detention facility closed within a year, and sought to place the detainees in military prisons inside the US. The question of moving the detainees to American soil, despite the paucity of evidence against most of them, has made the closure a serious political issue in recent weeks.
Yet surely the major revelation in the next 48 hours would have been reason enough for the Senate Dems to forestall their pledge to block funding, which wasn’t facing an immediate vote at any rate. As President Obama has announced only last week that he intends to restart military tribunals at the facility, the block seems to be a de facto admission that the administration is at the very least wavering on its pledge to see the page turned on an unpleasant moment in American history.