Obama warns Republicans to close Guantanamo or he'll do it himself

President Obama sent a message to Republicans yesterday that gave a clear indication of his determination to break the law in closing the prison camp at Guantanamo.

Despite Congress passing legislation forbidding the transfer of prisoners, the president said that if Republicans aren't going to close the prison camp, he will use his executive authority to do it.

Washington Times:

Mr. Obama has succeeded in gradually reducing the number of prisoners at the site. Following the upcoming round of transfers, the population will drop under 100.

At his year-end press conference on Friday afternoon, he flatly toldCongress that if they don’t help come up with a solution, he’ll consider using executive authority.

“There’s going to be a challenge there. Now, at the stage that I’m presenting a plan to Congress about how we can close Guantanamo. I’m not going to automatically assume Congress says ‘no.’ I’m not being coy,” Mr. Obama said. “I think we can make a very strong argument that it doesn’t make sense for us to be spending an extra $100, $200, $300, $500 million, $1 billion, to have a secure setting for 50, 60, 70 people. And we will wait until Congress has definitively said ‘no’ to a well-thought-out plan with numbers attached to it before we say something definitive about my executive authority here. I think it’s far preferable if I can get stuff done through Congress.”

The president also tied the facility to the ongoing fight against the terror group the Islamic State.

“Guantanamo continues to be one of the key magnets for jihadi recruits,” he said.

Obama selling the closing of Guantanamo as a cost-saving measure is ludicrous.  If those "50, 60, 70 people" are among the most dangerous terrorists in the world, no price is too high to pay to keep them locked up.

But that's just a ploy.  As is the fiction that Gitmo is a recruitment tool for terrorists.  What's a bigger incentive for potential jihadists?  The wildly successful Paris attacks or the alleged torture of inmates at Guantanamo that occurred years ago?  I would posit the notion that success breeds more terrorists than anything else. 

Any plan Obama comes up with to move terrorists to the U.S. mainland will be challenged by the states where the inmates will be housed, so even if Mr. Obama takes the plunge and decrees Gitmo closed, it won't happen until the lawsuits make their way through the courts.  Meanwhile, the rule of law takes another hit, and the president strikes another blow against the separation of powers.

President Obama sent a message to Republicans yesterday that gave a clear indication of his determination to break the law in closing the prison camp at Guantanamo.

Despite Congress passing legislation forbidding the transfer of prisoners, the president said that if Republicans aren't going to close the prison camp, he will use his executive authority to do it.

Washington Times:

Mr. Obama has succeeded in gradually reducing the number of prisoners at the site. Following the upcoming round of transfers, the population will drop under 100.

At his year-end press conference on Friday afternoon, he flatly toldCongress that if they don’t help come up with a solution, he’ll consider using executive authority.

“There’s going to be a challenge there. Now, at the stage that I’m presenting a plan to Congress about how we can close Guantanamo. I’m not going to automatically assume Congress says ‘no.’ I’m not being coy,” Mr. Obama said. “I think we can make a very strong argument that it doesn’t make sense for us to be spending an extra $100, $200, $300, $500 million, $1 billion, to have a secure setting for 50, 60, 70 people. And we will wait until Congress has definitively said ‘no’ to a well-thought-out plan with numbers attached to it before we say something definitive about my executive authority here. I think it’s far preferable if I can get stuff done through Congress.”

The president also tied the facility to the ongoing fight against the terror group the Islamic State.

“Guantanamo continues to be one of the key magnets for jihadi recruits,” he said.

Obama selling the closing of Guantanamo as a cost-saving measure is ludicrous.  If those "50, 60, 70 people" are among the most dangerous terrorists in the world, no price is too high to pay to keep them locked up.

But that's just a ploy.  As is the fiction that Gitmo is a recruitment tool for terrorists.  What's a bigger incentive for potential jihadists?  The wildly successful Paris attacks or the alleged torture of inmates at Guantanamo that occurred years ago?  I would posit the notion that success breeds more terrorists than anything else. 

Any plan Obama comes up with to move terrorists to the U.S. mainland will be challenged by the states where the inmates will be housed, so even if Mr. Obama takes the plunge and decrees Gitmo closed, it won't happen until the lawsuits make their way through the courts.  Meanwhile, the rule of law takes another hit, and the president strikes another blow against the separation of powers.