Plan to Shut Gitmo Clearly Illegal
Obama clearly believes that he can close Gitmo and bring the prisoners to the U.S. He will initially ask Congress for permission to do so, but he has indicated that he will make that happen, even if Congress does not give its approval.
President Obama “can try” to go around Congress in his attempt to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay Cuba, House Speaker Paul Ryan told news conference on Wednesday. “He has no authority to do so,” Ryan added.
Ryan reminded reporters that Congress voted overwhelmingly for the National Defense Authorization Act, which contains a provision saying the president may not move Guantanamo inmates to U.S. soil.
“We are making legal preparations if the president tries to break the law,” Ryan said. “And what boggles my mind, is that the president is contemplating directing the military to knowingly break the law.
“Our law is really clear, and by the way, Democrats wrote this law when they were in the majority, when they ran Congress, which is, these detainees cannot come to American soil.
“So if the president proceeds with knowingly breaking the law and asking the military to break the law, he will be met with fierce bipartisan opposition here in Congress, and we're taking all legal preparations necessary to meet with that resistance.
“He can't do it because the law is really clear,” Ryan said.
But the White House on Tuesday refused to rule out executive action:
Spokesman Josh Earnest was asked multiple times if President Obama would use executive action to close Guantanamo.
“The president himself has considered this question,” Earnest told reporters. “And what he has said publicly is that our focus is going to be on working with Congress.”
Earnest said the White House is “not going to take any of the president's options off the table.”
And he said if Congress would simply give “legitimate consideration” to the president's plan, “that would make any sort of discussion about the president's executive actions obsolete. And that's why we're going to go ahead and continue to put pressure on Congress to do the right thing.”
Earnest twice refused to give a yes or no answer to questions about whether Obama can still close Guantanamo Bay detention center if Congress fails to approve his plan.
Surprisingly, Attorney General Loretta Lynch suggested that Obama would try to work with Congress on the plan to close Gitmo, and she did not contest the fact the Obama does not have the authority to do that on his own. She also said she was unaware of any plans Obama has for trying close the center without Congressional approval, though she may be surprised at how lawless Obama is when he wants to do something that is contrary to established laws and practices. Or she may just be covering for him until he has a chance to launch an initiative when he realizes that Congress has checked his power.
Obama's time in office is coming to a close, and so it is likely he will try to implement many of the more difficult (read illegal or unethical) actions he has been unable to do so far. After all, can anyone deny the monarch? We will see, as he seeks to help these Islamic worst of the worst killers and terrorists, to what purpose we cannot tell.