In this photo reviewed by US military officials, an American flag waves within the razor wire-lined compound of Camp Delta prison, at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba June 27, 2006. REUTERS/Brennan Linsley/Pool
This morning news media reported that
Guess they're afraid of a creeping reach of the rule of law (and public exposure.)
Should they be? Just for the heck of it, I made the rounds our potential Democratic presidents by way their web sites and Google to see if we can count on a Democratic president to close our extra-territorial gulag. With some notable exceptions, the results were not encouraging. I'll report in order of their current standing in the polls (excepting Kucinich and Gravel who just don't really register.)
- Hillary Clinton: recently, apparently in answer to a question, she opined
- Barack Obama: The closest thing I could find to a statement on Guantanamo was a speech opposing the Military Commissions Act (torture enabling/habeus corpus suppressing) passed last fall. It contains much posturing to assure the world that he's tough on terrorists and its primary complaint seems to be with the partisan process that led to the bill. I don't come away reassured that he'd close Guantanamo. I read it and don't know what he'd do. Does he?
- John Edwards: he has said repeatedly that there is something very wrong with Guantanamo.
Not perhaps as binding as if it were reported in mainstream media, but not necessarily any less reliable either.
- Bill Richardson: Outside the first tier, we begin to get concrete statements. As part of his "New Realist" vision of U.S. foreign policy, Richardson says
- Joe Biden: He went on record favoring closing Guantanamo in 2005.
- Chris Dodd: Dodd has joined Senators Feingold, Leahy and Menendez in an effort to repeal the Military Commision (torture) bill. He clearly feels the legal issues involved are central to national self-respect. His father was a prosecutor at Nuremberg. None of this quite adds up to a commitment to close Guantanamo.