US Congress to Obama: “You can’t bring them here!”
US President Barack Obama has defended his decision to shut down the Guantanamo prison camp and to work with Congress in dealing with its detainees.
He was speaking to military lawyers after his bid for $80 million dollars to close the base was rejected by Congress.
The U.S. president also held his ground over reviving prisoners' military trials, something he criticized before becoming president.
But political analyst James Pinkerton of the New America Foundation thinks that Obama may have promised more than he could actually deliver.
“As the saying goes, the more things change – the more they stay the same. There is a kind of protocol regression going on here where Obama is discovering that the decisions the Bush administration made either cannot or should not be undone,” notes Pinkerton.
“I think most analysts say that if suspected terrorists who committed crimes in Afghanistan or some other far away place are brought to the US court system, you can never get a normal trial. How could you? How you could get witnesses to come in from Afghanistan, Pakistan or some other place? It is just crazy. And that is what Obama’s campaign said during the election and nobody was paying attention,” says Pinkerton.
“Now that he is in charge and actually trying to do this, he realizes that he simply cannot do it that way. You cannot have a courthouse in Washington D.C. or New York or Chicago become a place where you try these people. You have to do this in some other setting, with some other set of rules,” says James Pinkerton.
“They’ve got to be left in limbo for a long, long time,” ends up James Pinkerton.