Obama Readies Biggest Reach of Presidential Power Yet
By Martin Matishak15 hours ago
Yahoo Finance | 2015-11-15T17:50:00Z
With only 14 months left in office, President Obama is set to issue an executive order in what could be the most aggressive use of his authority to date: unilaterally closing the federal detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“At this point, I would not take anything off the table in terms of the president doing everything that he can to achieve this critically important national security objective,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters earlier this month during a briefing.
The administration is likely to submit a plan for how it would shutter the controversial site to Congress in the next few weeks, if not days. There are still 112 detainees at Guantanamo, of whom 53 have been deemed eligible for transfer.
The prison has cost the American taxpayers nearly $5 billion since it opened in 2002, with an average price tag of around $495 million every year for the past five years, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
Obama pledged during his 2008 campaign that he would close the detention facility; he has since repeatedly promised to take action, citing the exorbitant cost of running the prison and its use as a recruiting tool for terrorist organizations around the globe.
His plan, however, could be reconsidered in light of the latest attack by ISIS in Paris, which killed 129 people and injured 352—a massacre that French President Hollande has called an “act of war.”
Republican and Democratic majorities in Congress have passed multiple laws to check the president’s ability to close the site. The latest came earlier this month when Congress overwhelmingly approved the fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The $607 billion policy roadmap for the Pentagon contains several provisions aimed at stopping the administration from shutting down the facility, including a ban on bringing detainees into the United States.
Obama is expected to sign the bill later this month, making a unilateral attempt to shutter the prison his last resort before his term expires. Such a move would set the stage for an enormous test of his presidential power, which took a blow last week when a federal appeals court blocked Obama’s executive order to stop the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants.
Capitol Hill Democrats have expressed modest support for an executive order on Guantanamo, waiting to see the administration’s plan before they fall in line behind their party’s leader. Republicans in both chambers have already begun to dig in their heels, signaling they would challenge the administration on a variety of fronts.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) demurred on what action the Senate might take against the president, telling reporters last week, “We’ll see what he does.” Senate Armed Services Committee chair John McCain (R-AZ), a proponent of closing Guantanamo, has threatened a court battle if Obama tries to circumvent Congress.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon has dispatched a small team in three states to survey existing military detention sites as possible alternatives to Guantanamo. GOP senators from Colorado, Kansas and South Carolina have vowed to use every legislative tool available to them to blunt the White House. They believe that moving terrorists into the U.S. amounts to putting a big, red bulls-eye on the facilities and the surrounding communities for other extremists to target.
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) has placed a hold on Obama’s nominee to be the next Army secretary, a hint of how lawmakers could potentially jam up the administration. Newly elected House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has also spoken out against a possible go-it-alone approach.
“He can’t. He [Obama] doesn’t have the authority to do it,” he said in an interview on Bloomberg TV’s With All Due Respect before the last GOP presidential debate.
The “language is very clear that he can’t transfer the prisoners,” Ryan added, noting the 2016 NDAA text was similar to the kind Democrats put in the bill when they ran Congress.
“The law is the law; it’s just that clear,” he said.
Between Obama’s desire to burnish his legacy and the GOP’s strategy to make sure Obama doesn’t do “more damage” while still in office ahead of the 2016 presidential election, a major Constitutional showdown is brewing.
In a recent Washington Post op-ed, former White Counsel Gregory and former State Department Guantanamo envoy Cliff Sloan, argued the president should ignore the restrictions imposed by Congress.
The president “in his capacity as commander in chief, has the exclusive authority to make tactical military decisions. Congress can declare war but cannot direct the conduct of military campaigns,” they wrote. “It can pass generally applicable military regulations but cannot direct the military’s response to contingent developments.”
Last week, Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, wrote that the view such restrictions are unconstitutional “would be a bold assertion of executive authority.”
“The president would be suddenly defying laws he has consistently observed. And he would be doing so only at the point he had lost the ability to get them changed,” he wrote.
Amechi’s Brief Comment:
The question here is whether President Obama has the right or not to close the notorious and infamous Guantanamo Bay prison camp. We must understand that the prison was part of the slew of notorious, illegal and scandalous torture chambers invented by the lawless, arrogant swaggering buffoonery and president stealing W. Bush, who in collaboration with his criminal no-good 5 supreme court judges stole our presidency in December 2000 and thereafter plunged the world in unprecedented warfare, terrorism, turture that still ravage and plague the world today in November 2015.[i]
Remember Abu Ghraib in Iraq, Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan and other notorious torture centers of W. Bush administration that made us look worse than ISIS today, which we all now conveniently forget or pretend to forget, but they were real and will forever haunt and torture our memory until we repent and atone for our horrible crimes then under the direction of the Bush criminal and Lucifer-follower gang.
The World Supported and Condoned Bush’s Terrorism:
The truth is that as we are now all truly shocked and sorry for the mindless barbarism of ISIS Paris massacre of November 13, 2015; and my heart goes out to the victims of the senseless tragedy but let us now remember that the vast majority of mankind, especially the powerful ones among us — the presidents, the world leaders, even the pope then, or the United Nations rarely raised their voices in clear open condemnation of Bush’s clear arrogant terrorism against the innocent, peace loving peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq as he massacred them in their own homes.
- Bush and His Gang Are The Greatest Terrorists:
- Bush and his gang (Dick Cheney, Dr. Rice, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Prof. John Yoo, etc.) are clearly worse and bigger terrorists than ISIS. First they started teaching, preaching, practicing terrorism long before anyone ever heard of ISIS. Actually, it can be argued that ISIS learnt their trade from the slew of montage of terrorist activities invented and effectively used by the Bush gang starting from how to grab power illegally.
The truth is that terrorists use whatever they have to terrorize others, whether it is their fists, knives, guns, planes, bombs, armies, etc. Whatever is at their disposal, terrorists will use them to terrorize others. So terrorists do not have to be sneaking around, or operating in the dark or using strapped on bomber jackets to be terrorists. Any such definition is limited and wrong.
Correct Definition of Terrorism:
I know that the Pentagon and CIA have tried to define terrorism many times with limited success. However here is my own definition of terrorism, which is professional, operational, and I will file a patent on it — Terrorism is any act physical or otherwise against a person, a group of persons or a state that is designed to get them change their mind or force them do something the terrorists prefer.
People change their minds every time. Change is a normal, natural process of life. At times, while interacting with people, we may want them to change their views or plans and the normal way, the acceptable way to do that, to get people to change their plans or view is through discussion and persuasion, by presenting superior views or better plans that will make the other party change their views or plans. In individual, personal acts it is called “discussion or persuasion”; in state-crafting, it is called “diplomacy”, which is what diplomats do.
Thus when W. Bush on March 17, 2003, in a national broadcast, unprecedented in its arrogance, swagger, pomposity and bombast gave President Saddam Hussein of Iraq and his two sons 48 hours to leave Iraq or he will militarily crush and remove them from power. Here is part of Bush speech and ultimatum to Saddam:[ii]
All the decades of deceit and cruelty have now reached an end. Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict commenced at a time of our choosing.
For their own safety, all foreign nationals, including journalists and inspectors, should leave Iraq immediately.
Many Iraqis can hear me tonight in a translated radio broadcast, and I have a message for them: If we must begin a military campaign, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you.
As our coalition takes away their power, we will deliver the food and medicine you need. We will tear down the apparatus of terror and we will help you to build a new Iraq that is prosperous and free.
In free Iraq there will be no more wars of aggression against your neighbors, no more poison factories, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms.
The tyrant will soon be gone. The day of your liberation is near.
It is too late for Saddam Hussein to remain in power. It is not too late for the Iraq military to act with honor and protect your country, by permitting the peaceful entry of coalition forces to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. Our forces will give Iraqi military units clear instructions on actions they can take to avoid being attack and destroyed.
I urge every member of the Iraqi military and intelligence services: If war comes, do not fight for a dying regime that is not worth your own life.
And all Iraqi military and civilian personnel should listen carefully to this warning: In any conflict, your fate will depend on your actions. Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people. Do not obey any command to use weapons of mass destruction against anyone, including the Iraqi people. War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be no defense to say, “I was just following orders.” Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war and every measure will be taken to win it.[iii]
I am in my seventies now, and I do not think I have ever heard the president or leader of any country made such a broadcast, ordering the president of another country to leave his country with his family in a 48 hour ultimatum, and ordering the military and citizens of that country not to defend their country. If that was not ultimate terrorism, then nothing else is terrorism. So by that broadcast followed by shortly sending over 192,000 troops into Iraq to dethrone, crush Saddam and kill hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis including billions of Iraqi properties destroyed, their roads, schools, universities, businesses, hospitals, etc destroyed, Bush and his gang qualify as the worst and greatest terrorist ever.
The worst thing was that the world just stood there moping in silence or in joyous exhilaration and as Bush forces blast through and looted Iraq hollow. When Bush forces entered Saddam’s presidential palace, they looted it dry like swam of barbarians and mindless savages. Bush showed and told us that Saddam had many palaces with extensive connecting tunnels, gold chambers, etc, which his troops looted, pilfered and destroyed, thus depriving Iraq of historical monuments and architectures that would be available for history like the Roman, Spanish, Italian, Greek, and aqueducts that are today major tourist draws that attest to their great historical pasts.
To confirm that Bush is the head terrorist, his agents brought and presented Saddam’s gun to him at the White House as a souvenir which Bush proudly displayed and showed to his friends.[iv]
A handgun that Saddam Hussein was clutching when US forces captured him in a hole in Iraq last December was now kept by President George W. Bush at the White House, a spokesman confirmed today.
Time magazine, which first disclosed the gun’s location, said military officials had it mounted after it was seized from Saddam near his hometown of Tikrit last year, and soldiers involved in the capture gave it to Bush.
The magazine quoted a visitor who had been shown the gun, which is kept in a small study off the Oval Office where Bush displays memorabilia. It is the same room where former President Bill Clinton had some of his encounters with former intern Monica Lewinsky.
Bush showed Saddam’s gun to select visitors, telling them it was unloaded, both now and when Saddam was captured, Time reported.
“He really liked showing it off,” Time quoted a visitor as saying. “He was really proud of it.” White House spokesman Jim Morrell said: “The president was proud of the performance and bravery of our armed forces and was honoured to receive it on behalf of the troops involved in the operation.[v]”
So we can see that W. Bush as the head terrorist partook in the spoils of the terror in various ways, not to talk that he eventually ordered the execution of Saddam Hussein, the legitimate president of a sovereign country by public hanging reminiscent of ISIS strategy that horrifies us today but that was what Bush did to the Iraqis to the acquiescence of the whole world.[vi]
To crown it all, The United Nations completely abandoned its usual role of demanding seize fire whenever warfare erupts between contending parties. But when Bush illegitimately and unnecessarily attacked Iraq, UN never condemned the obvious aggression. This I consider the UN’s ultimate betrayal of Iraqi people and the world, that they were so terrorized by Bush that could not even call for seize fir when Bush attacked Iraq.
[i] For more on this, read, Alan Dershowitz, Supreme Injustice: How the High Court Hijacked Election 2000. (2001); and Vincent Bugliosi, The Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President, (2001)
[ii] Presidents Bush’s Speech, 48 Hour Ultimatum to Saddam and His Two Sons, CNN, March 17, 2003.
[iv] See, “Bush keeps souvenir of Saddam,” smh.com.au, March 31, 2004
[vi] Read, Chapter 29, “The Illegal Trial and Execution of President Sadddam Hussein of Iraq by W. Bush, the Rogue President of United States” in Amechi Okolo, The State of the American Mind: Stupor and Pathetic Docility.