Congress to Obama: Don’t close Guantanamo without a plan
Posted by sanityinjection on May 20, 2009
Today is a proud day for the United States Senate. In a rare step, the Senate voted overwhelmingly (90-6!) to delete from a war funding bill $80 million to fund the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. The House had earlier taken a similar step.
The move represents a consensus among Democrats and Republicans, and among those who oppose closure of Gitmo as well as those who support its closure – but not without a plan in place for what will happen to the 240 remaining detainees and where they will go. This represents as strong a statement as you will ever hear from the legislature. And what they are saying is that they do not trust the Obama Adminstration to work out the details without any Congressional oversight. The size of the vote is a slap in the face to the Administration. In Washington, losing a vote is one thing; getting destroyed by a united front of Republicans and Democrats is an embarrassment. I’m not certain, but I think it’s also the first time Obama has been denied funding for any of his major initiatives.
Even liberal members must have been getting flak from their constituents about the possibility of terror detainees being set free on US soil. Whatever their motivations, I congratulate Congressmen and Senators of both parties who stepped up and put the good of the country ahead of politics. That is a rare event in Washington and deserves to be celebrated.