Obama Signs Law Blocking Gitmo Closure

Expresses 'Strong Objection' Then Signs It Anyhow

In the latest example of President Obama having his cake and eating it too on the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, he has angrily expressed his “strong objection” to a Congressional measure that would block his promised closure of the facility. Then, he signed it.

According to his official statement, even though he has “consistently opposed” the effort to block the closure (which is a flat out lie, because his administration has praised previous Congressional efforts which also did that), he signed the bill because of how important he thinks his assorted 2011 wars are, and the bill also includes some (though not all) of the funding for those wars.

Obama went on to insist that prosecutions in federal court, which the bill blocks, are a “powerful tool” for the administration. Though he initially halted military tribunals and promised to move forward with such prosecutions, he has since restarted the tribunals and openly insists a number of the detainees will be held forever and never charged with anything at all. The White House insists it “regrets” that move too, but is also doing it anyhow.

Though the administration has repeatedly insisted that they are “determined’ to closing the detention center, the president has made absolutely no serious efforts to do so in over a year, and has repeatedly signed executive orders and bills which would make the eventual closure even more difficult. It seems difficult then to take his “objections” as anything more than a political bone thrown to supporters who voted for him in the hopes that he would follow through with his pledge to close the facility.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.