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Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentGovernment · 1 decade ago

What do you think of Obama's reason for closing Guantanomo Bay?


President Obama today delivered a forceful defense of his approach to closing the Guantanamo Bay prison and fighting terrorism, arguing in the face of criticism from both the left and right that America must adhere to its fundamental values as his administration works to safeguard the nation while cleaning up what he described as a legal "mess" left by the Bush administration.

While the government has taken military and diplomatic steps to prevent a new attack by the al-Qaeda terrorist network, Obama said, "I believe with every fiber of my being that in the long run we also cannot keep this country safe unless we enlist the power of our most fundamental values."

Standing in the rotunda of the National Archives, which houses the core documents of American democracy, Obama also defended his decisions to release Bush administration memos justifying the use of harsh interrogation techniques and to withhold photos showing detainee abuse, decisions he insisted were not contradictory but were aimed at striking "the right balance between transparency and national security."

He sharply criticized "political posturing" over his efforts to close the Guantanamo prison camp and rebutted claims in Congress from lawmakers of both parties that bringing terrorist suspects to the United States to stand trial would endanger national security.

Charging that congressional debate over the issue produced "fear-mongering" and speeches "calculated to scare people rather than educate them," he pledged: "We are not going to release anyone if it would endanger our national security, nor will we release detainees within the United States who endanger the American people."

Obama's speech at the National Archiveswas billed by the White House as a major address on national security. It was aimed less at providing details of his plans to close the Guantanamo prison and prosecute detained terrorist suspects than at explaining his policies and regaining the initiative on the detainee issue.

The speech came a day after Senate Democrats and Republicans overwhelmingly rejected Obama's request for funds to close the Guantanamo detention facility. And it coincided with a dueling speech on national security by former vice president Richard B. Cheney, who has emerged as the leading Republican critic of Obama's approach to fighting terrorism.

In a 90-6 vote, the Senate yesterday declined to provide $80 million in requested funding until Obama issues a plan for dealing with the 240 detainees who remain at Guantanamo, a U.S. naval base on the southeastern tip of Cuba. Lawmakers from both parties voiced strong opposition to bringing any of the detainees to the United States or ultimately releasing them into U.S. society.

Cheney, speaking at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, vigorously defended the interrogation techniques that the Bush administration authorized the CIA to use on suspected terrorists and denounced the "contrived indignation and phony moralizing" that he said the methods have inspired.

He warned that it would be "unwise" and reckless to completely renounce the methods in the future.

Cheney in recent weeks has repeatedly accused Obama of endangering national security by ordering the closure of the Guantanamo prison and ending the harsh interrogation techniques that the Bush administration endorsed for terrorist suspects, including methods that are widely considered torture.

After one such attack by Cheney in March, Obama expressed his fundamental disagreement with the former vice president, who he said was "drawing the wrong lesson from history." Obama said on CBS's "60 Minutes" program that Cheney "has been at the head of a movement whose notion is somehow that we can't reconcile our core values, our Constitution, our belief that we don't torture, with our national security interests."

While standing in front of the original Constitution, Obama returned to that theme today, saying that while the United States needs to update its institutions to deal with the continuing threat from al-Qaeda and its affiliates, Americans must also trust in those institutions and in U.S. values.

Obama said fidelity to American values was the reason that the United States grew to become the world's strongest nation.

"It is the reason why enemy soldiers have surrendered to us in battle, knowing they'd receive better treatment from America's armed forces than from their own government," he said. "It is the reason why America has benefited from strong alliances that amplified our power and drawn a sharp and moral contrast with our adversaries. It is the reason why we've been able to overpower the iron fist of fascism, outlast the iron curtain of communism and enlist free nations and free people everywhere in common cause and

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    People like Cheney and his bunk-mate Cottonmouth Limbaugh represent the worst type of reasoning. I think that their having dodged military service in the Vietnam Era may be an indication of where their hearts lie. Although President Obama did not serve prior to being elected Commander in Chief (let's hope he doesn't buy a phoney C.I.C jacket from Wearguard like W. did), his family has served and he not only has the ideals of a true patriot but understands what our fighting forces should and should not do. His reasons are those that would be applauded by the Founding Fathers, not policies they would shun in horror.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think it is better to take the moral high ground & close the detention center.

    In no way is closing the detention center an attempt to "play nice"

    or to appease any terrorist group.

    We know full well that humane (or otherwise )treatment will have no effect on the fanatics who have no trouble sawing off the heads of innocents.

    They are animals , we are not.

    We have to decide whether we are a nation that respects our own as well as international law no matter how vile the prisoners may be.

    I say bring them here for trial & convict those found quilty beyond reasonable doubt & put them in prison for life.

    If it is legal & proper for reasons of national security it would be OK w/ me if the trials were not made public.

    Let them rot quietly & out of sight.

    Deep down however, would have no problem releasing all of them ............into a wood chipper, but "that would be wrong".

    We would have plenty of room if prisons were emptied of non violent offenders spending long prison terms in some states for having a joint in their car.

    I think Obama has taken emotion out of it & thought it through knowing full well that he would draw fire from all sides.

    Going w/ BO on this one.

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  • 4 years ago

    It is a politically correct gesture to appease our socialist "friends" around the world. Torture? If I knew someone had information that would save a couple of thousand lives, yes, i think barbaric would be the term that i would use to extract info from them. Gitmo detainees tortured? They get better food and medical than the guards that are watching them. some of them DONT want to leave, because their home country will torture and behead them within days of them coming home just for embarrassing the country. It will be WORSE for the gitmo detainees when they are out of gitmo, then some of them will be in a REAL American supermax prison, where the prison population will kill them if they get the chance. Where they are right now is a country club compared to where some of them are going to go. Obama is going to make the situation WORSE for the following reasons: A: he will force the CIA and other intel assets to "go underground", and do REALLY bad stuff to get info. B: If the troops risk their lives to catch these jerks and find out that these psychos are going to be let loose after political posturing, they will exact some justice on the battlefield, and you will have a dead terrorist that no one will interrogate. But what I dont understand is this: WHY is Obama shutting down Gitmo because "torturing" a KNOWN terrorist is "bad", but he approves of American missiles and drones bombing SUSPECTED terrorist strongholds in PAKISTAN and killing DOZENS of KNOWN innocents? Sounds like a bunch of hypocritical crap to me. This is a war. They are prisoners until the war is over, or they die, whichever comes first. They are not there for traffic violations. This entire "unethical" war is our fault because it was not EUROPE'S WAR. We fight two world wars to save Europe and lose millions of Americans dead and wounded. Every time we fight for our own cause, we are branded as "imperialists" or "evil aggressors". If the rest of the world hates us so bad, they should stop eating our fast food hamburgers and drinking coca cola. We should pack our bag of fast food franchises, and MTV and GPS satellite coverage and retreat to our own borders, let the world plunge into another dark age and bomb anyone that screws with us back to the stone age, only some air force private would get a blister on his finger from pushing those launch buttons.

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  • 1 decade ago

    A lot of people including Obama want Guantanamo closed. Some of them say its the right thing to do since a lot of the inmates/terrorists may be innocent and are being abused. I guess a lot of people want Guantanamo closed since those pics of Abu Ghraib were realased.

    I think its a mistake to close Guantanamo. Yea it sucks that innocent people are being held and abused. But it was also unfair to those innocent victims whose body exploded into pieces and spread throughout a mile across. Yes, it was horrorfying seeing those naked pics of Guantanamo inmates while being abused. But we shouldnt forget that OUR soldier's bodies also lay naked after a car bomb explodes. And we shouldnt forget that Abu Ghraib black eye is nothing compared to all those innocent people who lost their lives ( Sep 11 attacks and other attacks around the world).

    It is better to jail 200 known terrorist along with 20 innocent people than to release those 20 innocent people along with 5 known terrorists. It sucks and somewhat unfair but at least we are doing it for a good cause and thats to save lives. Terrorist's target innocent people including children, and for what cause? Point proven...

    Source(s): My thoughts
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Huh, i didn't realise he actually had a reason, i assumed he just said it for the win.

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  • 1 decade ago

    he's a wuss.

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