Obama Pushes Gitmo Shutdown in West Point Speech but Polling Shows Americans Want Jihadists Kept There
During the President’s poorly received speech at the West Point graduation on Wednesday, he brought up a favorite issue of the far left, namely the closing of the Gitmo prison holding jihadist combatants.
I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it is our willingness to affirm them through our actions. (Applause.) And that’s why I will continue to push to close Gitmo — because American values and legal traditions do not permit the indefinite detention of people beyond our borders.
If Gitmo were shut, then the remaining prisoners would be transferred to a prison on US territory which would put their incarceration under Constitutional protections designed for American citizens. ACLU lawyers would then work to have them released because the prisoners have been held indefinitely without trial, and if their home countries don’t accept them back then the jailbirds would have to be released into the United States under the Supreme Court ruling Zadvydas v. Davis.
In a February case, a Somali pirate was found not guilty in an American civil court and then applied for asylum. This situation could be replicated for all the Gitmo prisoners if Obama gets his way: from murdering jihadists to asylees in America collecting welfare.
Think it can’t happen? This is the same administration that recently released thousands of dangerous criminal aliens into American communities.
Meanwhile, a Rasmussen poll from this week shows that the American people want Gitmo left as is.
47% Say U.S. Safer Today Because of Guantanamo Prison, Rasmussen Reports, May 27, 2014
Most voters still oppose closing the Guantanamo terrorist prison camp and moving some of those inmates to a U.S. facility. Nearly half think the United States is safer because suspected terrorists have been imprisoned there.
Democrats in Congress are again pushing legislation to close the Guantanamo facility, but a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 27% of Likely U.S. Voters think the prison for suspected terrorists at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba should be closed. That’s up slightly from 23% in April of last year but still down dramatically from the 44% who favored closure in January 2009 when President Obama first announced his plan to do so.
Fifty-four percent (54%) disagree and say the Guantanamo prison should not be closed, consistent with most surveys for several years. Eighteen percent (18%) are undecided.