President Obama is officially “determined” to see the detention center at Guantanamo Bay closed, according to a news briefing today by spokesman Robert Gibbs. The comment comes fully 11 months after the deadline at which the president initially pledged to close the facility.
You’d figure having missed the deadline so badly the president would be working feverishly to get it done, but this is not the case, and for all his talk of using the lame duck Congress to get his way, there seems to be no indication Gitmo will even be discussed again this year.
Instead, the president has cheerfully restarted military tribunals and everything seems business as usual at America’s most notorious extra-legal detention center. That the administration is still claiming to be trying to close it, let alone “determined” to close it, is nothing short of astonishing.
And following the mid-term elections there is almost zero chance the president would be able to get the facility closed, if he were even trying in earnest. The president not only failed to push such a resolution through a Democrat-dominated Congress, he even cheered them publicly when they rejected his call to close it. Now, with a number of Gitmo-enthusiasts in key Congressional positions, such a measure would require far more effort from the president, and it is an effort he clearly has no intention of making.