The White House may have a back-up plan. Press Secretary Josh Earnest has indicated twice in recent days that Obama could use executive action to get around Congress and close GITMO, bringing the worst of the worst to the US prisons.
“I’m going to protect the ability of the president to use his authority [to] move the country in the direction that he believes it should be headed, and particularly when it comes to an issue like … closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay,” Josh Earnest said after the Senate vote, declining to rule out the use of executive action.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has promised a fight if Obama tries to close GITMO with Executive Action. “He can’t. He doesn’t have the authority to do it. It’s just that clear,” Ryan told Mark Halperin.
Oh, but he can, he’s lawless and does whatever he wants, pretending he cares about the Constitution up until the moment he violates the law.
Sen. Grassley issued a powerful statement Obama’s possible attempt to move enemy combatants housed at Guantanamo Bay to U.S. soil. Congress has passed several bills that restrict any move to transfer these detainees to the United States, Sen. Grassley wrote. Most recently, on Tuesday, the Senate passed and sent to the president the National Defense Authorization Act for 2016, which maintains those restrictions, on a 91-3 vote.
That’s a remarkable number. If the president goes against 93 senators, it is particularly egregious. Grassley also wants the Obama administration to release the legal analysis done by the Justice Department that authorized the release of five senior Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay in June 2014 in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl without the legally required 30-day notice to Congress.
The president’s response was unresponsive so Grassley is pursuing it.
Grassley wrote that “President Obama’s pledge to shutter the detention facility at Guantanamo was always based on the notion that softening America’s image abroad would somehow soften our enemies’ resolve. The headlines every day remind us that’s not the way it is. If anything, as a direct result of the president’s national security policies, our homeland is in more danger now than when he took office.”
“There are a number of serious concerns with moving hardened terrorists to U.S. soil. These include questions surrounding any additional legal, immigration and constitutional rights that terrorists will be afforded by such a move, as well as the obvious public safety threat that would come from permanently housing them in U.S. communities. Those who remain at Guantanamo include the worst of the worst — for example, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. President Obama has admitted that many of them are too dangerous to be transferred or released. Officials in New York refused to house some of them even temporarily for a trial. And many of their home countries won’t even take them back.”
The White House announced last week that “all options remain in play.” Susan Rice adding that the administration “would die trying” to close the successful, safe prison.”
The Wall Street Journal believes Congress’s strong stand makes it all the more likely he will move ahead:
Mr. Obama’s decision not to veto the $607 billion defense bill for a second time makes it more likely that he will decide to go around Congress to fulfill his longstanding pledge to close the prison, setting up an election-year fight with Republicans that could end up in court…
“We have long expressed our disappointment at the repeated effort by Congress to impede the closing of the prison at Guantanamo Bay. The president believes closing that prison is a national security priority,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said…With no other avenue to shutter the prison,
Mr. Obama might look to use executive action to close it. Such a step would be certain to trigger a backlash among opponents who believe the president has often stepped beyond the limits of his powers. The White House has been working on options for executive action, including legal justifications. Republicans have challenged Mr. Obama in court on other issues, including immigration and the health law, and could do so again over Guantanamo.
We’ve been hearing this video a lot lately:
He warned us he would be a dictator: