Barack Obama has made closing the Guantanamo Bay (GTMO) terrorist detention center an article of faith since his first presidential campaign. He said it again the day he took office. And he repeated as recently as May 2013.
Yet, despite all of Obama’s efforts thus far, strong public opposition to the notion of releasing terrorists into the courts or onto the streets has prevented Obama from fulfilling this promise. So what is his solution? To abide by the stated will of the American people? Not a chance. Not this president. As is so often the case, his solution is to circumvent the will of the people by rigging the game.
Obama has clearly figured out that in order to build his case, he needs to control the messaging coming out of the GTMO proceedings and persuade the public to adopt his anti-GTMO stance. The way to do that is to simply cherry-pick a group of “friendlies” to “monitor” and report on what takes place. It’s as simple as that.
The Obama Pentagon recently informed Judicial Watch that the administration is giving special, reserved access to the Military Commission hearings in Guantanamo Bay to five leftist human rights groups.
In an official memorandum, issued on August 19, 2013, the Office of the Secretary of Defense listed the criteria by which organizations were selected for the privilege of monitoring GTMO proceedings. They must have a “stated mission to advance human rights through advocacy and respect for the law.”
Now, take a look at the list of the five pre-approved leftist “non-governmental organizations” (NGOs) that will be given exclusive seats at the table: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Bar Association. Do you see any “respect for law” organizations on that list? Not unless you consider respect for the law letting criminals go free. In fact, in some instances, persons affiliated with the five NGOs have served as legal counsel or political advocates for the terrorist detainees held at GTMO.
Noticeably absent from the list is Judicial Watch, despite the fact that it has been on the ground at GTMO for each and every proceeding for past several years, including the 2008 arraignment of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the 2011 arraignment of USS Cole bomber Bad al-Rahim al-Nassir and a number of KSM motion hearings in 2012 and 2013. In fact, ours is the only conservative organization that has, at great expense, participated as observers in these proceedings for the past six years.