Despite his stated desire to close the American prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, President Bush has decided not to do so, and never considered proposals drafted in the State Department and the Pentagon that outlined options for transferring the detainees elsewhere, according to senior administration officials.Sure, why not. What's one more disaster to throw on the barbie for the next guy? Make no mistake about who's driving this legacy:
Mr. Bush’s top advisers held a series of meetings at the White House this summer after a Supreme Court ruling in June cast doubt on the future of the American detention center. But Mr. Bush adopted the view of his most hawkish advisers that closing Guantánamo would involve too many legal and political risks to be acceptable, now or any time soon, the officials said.
The administration is proceeding on the assumption that Guantánamo will remain open not only for the rest of Mr. Bush’s presidency but also well beyond, the officials said, as the site for military tribunals of those facing terrorism-related charges and for the long prison sentences that could follow convictions.
The effect of Mr. Bush’s stance is to leave in place a prison that has become a reviled symbol of the administration’s fight against terrorism, and to leave another contentious foreign policy decision for the next president.
...administration officials say that even Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the most powerful advocates for closing the prison, have quietly acquiesced to the arguments of more hawkish advisers, including Vice President Dick Cheney.As the article makes clear, the rationale for keeping it open is the difficulty in deciding what to do with the prisoners, where to put them in the U.S., or where to send them abroad. The danger posed by a number is cited as further rationale for its continued use. Making it all the more ridiculous that the lone Canadian, Omar Khadr, former child soldier, continues to sit there...we could easily take him and subject him to the Canadian justice system, thank you. Such progress could be made toward closing this abomination, but it's likely too big a pill of defeat for the Bush administration's hubris to swallow.
If Obama wins, however, his administration should know that if they want to send Khadr back to Canada, most Canadians would likely come to support it:
...while the topic is still seen a political hot potato due to the unpopularity of the Khadr family, grassroots support has been steadily growing over the last two months.
The Facebook site, "For the Immediate Release of Omar Khadr from Guantanamo Bay," has thousands of members and is reportedly the fifth most popular in Canada. Law students and young lawyers across the country are organizing panels, protests and petitions this week.