Obama Oversees $40 Million Renovation of Gitmo

Contrary to his campaign rhetoric in 2008 and one of his first Executive Orders vowing to close Guantanamo Bay within a year, President Obama is now overseeing a $40 million renovation of Gitmo.

Have people already forgotten what Obama said just five years ago?

“Why don’t we close Guantanamo and restore the right of habeas corpus, because that’s how we lead, not with the might of our military, but the power of our ideals and the power of our values. It’s time to show the world we’re not a country that ships prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far off countries. We’re not a country that runs prisons which locks people away without ever telling them why they’re there or what they’re charged with. We’re not a country which preaches compassion to others while we allow bodies to float down the streets of major American cities. That’s not who we are.” — Barack Obama; 2007

Barack Obama - Guantanamo Bay

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6 Responses to “Obama Oversees $40 Million Renovation of Gitmo”

  1. [...] Guantanamo Bay, and on his first day of office as President he signed and Executive Order vowing to shut down Gitmo within one [...]

  2. Sara Foley Anderson says:

    Please get your facts straight. Yes, President Obama, 2 days after taking office, did sign an Executive Order which CONGRESS overturned. It was first the Democratic controlled Congress…and then the do-nothing Republican controlled Congress did the same thing. Why don’t you point out that it is only CONGRESS that did this…and only CONGRESS that can shut it down. Shame on you.

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  3. tosca says:

    President Obama’s so-called “plan to close Guantanamo” — even if it had been approved in full by Congress — did not seek to end that core injustice. It sought to do the opposite: Obama’s plan would have continued the system of indefinite detention, but simply re-located it from Guantanamo Bay onto American soil.
    Long before, and fully independent of, anything Congress did, President Obama made clear that he was going to preserve the indefinite detention system at Guantanamo even once he closed the camp. President Obama fully embraced indefinite detention — the defining injustice of Guantanamo — as his own policy.The New York Times – in an article headlined “President’s Detention Plan Tests American Legal Tradition” – said Obama’s plan “would be a departure from the way this country sees itself, as a place where people in the grip of the government either face criminal charges or walk free.” In January, 2010, the Obama administration announced it would continue to imprison several dozen Guantanamo detainees without any charges or trials of any kind, including even a military commission, on the ground that they were “too difficult to prosecute but too dangerous to release.” That was all Obama’s doing, completely independent of anything Congress did.The plan was classic Obama: a pretty, feel-good, empty symbolic gesture (get rid of the symbolic face of Bush War on Terror excesses) while preserving the core abuses (the powers of indefinite detention ), even strengthening and expanding those abuses by bringing them into the U.S.In fact, Obama’s “close GITMO” plan — if it had been adopted by Congress — would have done something worse than merely continue the camp’s defining injustice of indefinite detention. It would likely have expanded those powers by importing them into the U.S. The day after President Obama’s speech proposing a system of “prolonged detention” on U.S. soil, the ACLU’s Ben Wizner told me in an interview:

    It may to serve to enshrine into law the very departures from the law that the Bush administration led us on, and that we all criticized so much. And I’ll elaborate on that. But that’s really my initial reaction to it; that what President Obama was talking about yesterday is making permanent some of the worst features of the Guantanamo regime. He may be shutting down the prison on that camp, but what’s worse is he may be importing some of those legal principles into our own legal system, where they’ll do great harm for a long time.

    So even if Congress had fully supported and funded Obama’s plan to “close Guantanamo,” the core injustices that made the camp such a travesty would remain. In fact, they’d not only remain, but would be in full force within the U.S. That’s what makes the prime excuse offered for Obama — he tried to end all of this but couldn’t – so misleading. He only wanted to change the locale of these injustices, but sought fully to preserve them.

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  4. Jeff Stevens says:

    1) Conservatives were running against Obama because he’d “close Gitmo”. Now we get to beat him over the head for not doing it? Not really fair.
    2) Sometimes when you get in office, you know things you didn’t know before you got in office. I’m willing to give Presidents the benefit of the doubt on such matters.
    3) Gitmo exists for more than merely detention. It existed before the detention center there and will likely outlive the detention center.
    4) The President said he would close the detention center, not the base (as far as I know).
    5) This is an upgrade of the base’s communications systems so they’re not dependent on laggy, weather-impacted satellite communications. This is not an upgrade to the detention center.
    6) Closing Gitmo’s detention center is not, ultimately, the issue. Holding people indefinitely without trial or charges is an offense against human dignity.

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  5. David Henley says:

    “Why don’t you point out that it is only CONGRESS that did this…and only CONGRESS that can shut it down. Shame on you.”

    Hmm, poor thing has never heard of Executive Orders which bypass Congress. I’m shocked! (No, not really)

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  6. A.Oscar says:

    My problem stay into most of USA Presidents priest’s into democracy; that means every country should be left alone and not constantly show force with provocations constantly. Guantanamo in Cuba should be abolish once and for all, that belong to Cuba, but USA are the stronger there for abuse the own power to be Imperialist around the world. America having so many problems at home; which the population also having now be harassed by Mr. Obama, inclusive now the Government want chipped school children like have done on dogs. That is a real discrimination to human beings. A.Oscar

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