The White House is drafting options that would allow President Barack Obama to close the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by overriding a congressional ban on bringing detainees to the U.S., senior administration officials said.
Such a move would be the latest and potentially most dramatic use of executive power by the president in his second term. It would likely provoke a sharp reaction from lawmakers, who have repeatedly barred the transfer of detainees to the U.S.
Officials, who declined to say where detainees might be housed if taken to the mainland, said the U.S. has ample space in its prisons for several dozen high-security prisoners. The administration has reviewed several facilities that could house the remaining detainees, with the military brig at Charleston, S.C., considered the most likely.
I honestly think Huckleberry Graham will pass out/come close to an aneurysm from this. I really do. On national TV, no less. Meet John McCain With Your Host Chuck Todd is really, really going to hate this too.
Of course, if President Obama actually tries this, as Steve M. points out, it'll set up a shutdown fight that President Obama will almost assuredly lose.
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) on Friday vowed to block all legislation in the Senate with a prolonged filibuster if President Obama tries to transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States....
Roberts made a similar threat back in 2009, when Obama originally signaled he wanted to relocate detainees to the United States. At the time, the disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth, as well as a maximum-security prison in Obama's home state of Illinois were being considered to house the prisoners....
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who is traveling through the state this week on Roberts's campaign bus, said he would join the filibuster. Roberts predicted he would have broad support from his colleagues.
"I will have help on this. I can see John McCain there and I can see Lindsey Graham there and I can see Kelly Ayotte there and I can see a whole bunch of other people there," Roberts said.
And why will Obama lose on this? Because Democrats in the Senate will line up around the block to stab him in the back over this.
Wonder how soon this is going to start showing in campaign ads for Roberts -- and for Mitch McConnell, Joni Ernst, Scott Brown, etc., etc.
I'm sorry to say that this effort will not succeed. On this, America is provincial and irrational, and not even remotely liberal.
Can you imagine what Senate Democrats will do when this happens? Let me put it to you this way: the only think preventing impeachment hearings and a Senate trial is the fact that it takes 67 Senators to convict. If this Gitmo thing goes down, well...
It's a nice thought. But as Steve M. says, Obama will never be able to close Gitmo. In the future some President may be able to. That President will not be Obama.