In a statement filled with hypocrisy, Speaker of the House John Boehner called Obama lawless because the president is looking at options for closing GITMO.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Obama is exploring his options for closing GITMO without congressional approval.
Rep. John Boehner responded to this news by saying,
An overwhelming majority of the American people and bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate oppose importing the terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay into the United States, yet the White House continues to move forward with its plan. Even as Islamic jihadists are beheading Americans, the White House is so eager to bring these terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to the United States that it is examining ways to thwart Congress and unilaterally re-write the law. Not only is this scheme dangerous, it is yet another example of what will be this administration’s legacy of lawlessness.
While Republicans stand united against this ploy, each and every Democrat should make their position known. Do they support the president’s maneuver to override a bipartisan law, thumb his nose at the American people and the Constitution, and bring these terrorists to U.S. soil? Or do they stand with the American people and oppose this dangerous plan? House Republicans have kept our Pledge to America to keep these terrorists out of the United States, and we will do everything within our power to keep our pledge and hold the administration accountable.
The irony is that Boehner criticized Obama for trying to close a prison that is illegal. The Bush administration intentionally designed GITMO to skirt US and international law. In Republican logic, President Obama is lawless because he is trying to follow the law.
Obama has tried on a yearly basis to close GITMO, but he has been consistently blocked by Democrats and Republicans in Congress who refuse to provide the funding that is required in order to close the prison and move the prisoners.
Congress stepped up their efforts to keep the secret prison open by passing laws that prohibited President Obama from bringing prisoners to the United States for trial. The fact that many people don’t understand is that it is the Pentagon that makes the final decision on detainee transfer, not Obama. So far, the Pentagon has slowed walked the president’s requests for more detainee transfers.
Republicans in Congress are the main reason why GITMO has remained open. The president is squeezed by a congress that refuses to close the prison, and the Pentagon bureaucracy that is doing whatever it pleases.
Given these obstacles, it is no wonder the president is looking for ways to close GITMO on his own. Boehner’s conclusion that Obama is lawless for trying to uphold the law would be funny if it weren’t so typical of the Republican treatment of this president.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association