How different from the Bush administration is the Obama administration? In the 322 days that President Obama has been the President of the United States, what exactly has he accomplished? Regrettably, I have to say not much.
Let’s look at the first day of his Presidency, where he promised to close Guantanamo Bay’s Camp X-Ray, which is the place where prisoners of the War on Terror are kept under guard. We’re getting very close to the 365-day limit he placed on its continued operation without any substantial gains in determining where some 215 (as of November) prisoners will be relocated. Let’s be specific: Despite accusations of rendition (which obviously doesn’t apply, as the US government leases Guantanamo Bay openly), the flushing of Qur’ans (Newsweek propagated the story, then quietly withdrew it as false months later), and false incarcerations, most of the individuals that have been detained there weren’t picked up off of a suburban US street peacefully on their way to their local mosque. Instead, most of these individuals were captured “on the battlefield” – physically armed and fighting against coalition forces, specifically in Afghanistan. As a matter of fact, watch-dog agencies and journalistic publications (specifically the Washington Post) came up with lists of the detainees, and not one is or has been American.
The Obama administration has done nothing to refute these claims, and has simply stated that it wishes to expedite and tweak the trials of the inmates – causing some uproar in New York, where a trial is occurring now.
Think about communities that have prisons – they’re honestly worried about everyday ordinary murderers and thieves escaping and causing a bit of havoc. If these terrorists (the ones already convicted, the alleged incarcerated during trials, or the alleged awaiting trial) were transferred to some prison in the U.S. – what community would be prepared for that? Plus, would the prisoners be safer among American citizens convicted of violent crimes than they would in Guantanamo Bay, specifically separated from a general population alien and angry toward them?
If President Obama ends up being able to relocate the prisoners successfully, then all will be well. However, Guantanamo Bay has surged in importance since the beginning of the War on Terror, houses thousands of American personnel and now has a hard-walled prison on base. It might tie in better with the Green aspirations of the Obama Administration to remember that “Haste Makes Waste” in their fervor to fulfill somewhat inane campaign promises.
Now, there is no doubt that in 322 days President Obama has actually done quite a lot, and due to constraints I’m focusing on one issue. I mean, he travels and such, and is even headed to Copenhagen for a Climate Change summit that starts on December 7. Talk about a day that will live in infamy.