Thursday, January 29, 2009

Military Judge Rebukes Obama on Gitmo

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Obama may not want to take up this fight against the military:

A military judge in Guantanamo Bay today denied the Obama administration's request to delay proceedings for 120 days in the case of a detainee accused of planning the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole warship, an al-Qaeda strike that killed 17 service members and injured 50 others.

The decision throws into some disarray the administration's efforts to buy time to review individual detainee cases as part of its plan to close the U.S. military prison at the Guantanamo naval base in Cuba. The Pentagon may now be forced to temporarily withdraw the charges against Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi citizen of Yemeni descent.

Nashiri is facing arraignment on capital charges on Feb. 9, and Judge James Pohl, an Army colonel, said the case would go ahead.

"We just learned of the ruling here . . . and we are consulting with the Pentagon and the Department of Justice to explore our options in that case," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. Asked at a news briefing whether the decision would hamper the administration's ability to evaluate the cases of Guantanamo detainees, Gibbs replied: "No. Not at all."
Two predictions here: There's no way in hell that Obama will go against this judge because of the sensitivity of the case. Should he opt to fight it out, he'll have a mess on his hands from the survivors of the USS Cole bombing.

The second prediction is that Robert Gibbs will not last the year. The guy is unprepared and if the media attacked him with even an iota of the zeal they did Tony Snow or Dana Perino, he'd have been curled up in the fetal position last Wednesday.

Back to the military judge; the military instinctively loathes Democrats because of their inherent reluctance to make decisions without gauging public preference on an issue. They also distrust Dems because they'll make a decision after long contemplation and then go back on that decision leaving the military to take the bad PR. This is one judge saying to The One that he's not going to play Obama's game, especially since the main case involved deals with the man who helped kill American sailors.

Thank you Colonel Pohl.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gibbs is as a presidential spokesman is worst than Scott McClelland if you can believe that.

You will win your bet.

Want to take a bet on how long it is before Hillary becomes President?

Ted said...

The Joint Chiefs of Staff HAVE AN ABSOLUTE CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY to stand behind Guantanamo Military Judge James Pohl UNTIL OBAMA OVERCOMES “RES IPSA LOQUITUR” BY SUPPLYING HIS LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND PROVING HIS ELIGIBILITY TO BE PRESIDENT UNDER ARTICLE 2 OF THE US CONSTITUTION.

Kirk Petersen said...

At first I agreed with you that this is a fight Obama does not want to pick. But then I went searching for other commentary in The Corner, where I was expecting similar sentiments.

But former US prosecutor Andy McCarthy (not a squish) is highly critical of the "grandstanding" military judge:

"Obama may make a terrible decision, he may make a good one, or he may do something in between. But in any event, it was entirely reasonable for him to ask for a four-month time-out — which was done in a very respectful manner that did not in any way denigrate the dignity of the military tribunals. He is still getting his national security team in place and getting them the clearances they need to get up to speed on all the relevant facts, many of which are no doubt highly classified. He is, moreover, the President of the United States and the commander-in-chief of our military forces in a time of war. These considerations, by themselves, should have been enough for the judge to indulge his request — I can't think of a single civilian court judge I ever appeared before who would not have respectfully deferred to a reasonable request for delay by the president in similar circumstances."

So now I disagree with you :)

Scott said...

That's why I'm here, to be disagreed with. Granted, this was the military flexing their might as it were, but Obama handled it wrong and this judge called him on it.