The Obama administration, fearing a battle with Congress that could stall plans to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, is drafting an executive order that would reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely, according to three senior government officials with knowledge of White House deliberations.We will quietly pass over who was the last President to assert such a claim.
I have believed all along that we should make there folks in Gitmo and other places "honorary Prisoners of War," which would allow us to hold them for the duration of the "War on Terrorism," or whatever we are calling it this week. Such a war will last longer than the "War on Drugs."
Here is an interesting highlight to the problem with the prisoners and the issue of Gitmo. According to one of those "unnamed"♠ White House sources,
"Civil liberties groups have encouraged the administration, that if a prolonged detention system were to be sought, to do it through executive order," the official said. Such an order could be rescinded and would not block later efforts to write legislation, but civil liberties groups generally oppose long-term detention, arguing that detainees should be prosecuted or released.Much as I don't like the use of Executive Orders for issues that the US Congress should be acting on, this is probably a good idea.
If I had a category for "governing is harder than running," this would get so tagged.
Regards — Cliff
♠ I think that "unnamed" sources are a menace. We don't know if this is the President trying to send a trial balloon or someone on the inside trying to sabotage an idea being considered by the President or his National Security Staff. Unnamed sources are pernicious.