Advancing a Free Society

Does Marc Thiessen know what he’s suggesting?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

In a column today in the Washington Post, Marc Thiessen suggests that it’s time for Obama to revitalize Guantanamo:

In fact, Obama administration is quietly beginning to ramp up operations at Guantanamo. While White House officials continue to assert that the president is committed to closing the facility, their actions speak otherwise. President Obama barely put up a fight when the outgoing Democratic Congress passed legislation barring the transfer of any detainees from Guantanamo to the United States. Then in January, the administration put out word that Obama would soon lift the ban he had imposed two years ago on new military commission trials – allowing military prosecutors to finally begin bringing new cases against terrorists held at Guantanamo. With military commissions resuming, it makes sense for the administration to go all in . . . and resume bringing high-value terrorists to Guantanamo for interrogation as well.

Later in the column, Thiessen says the following:

The CIA already has a presence at the base and a state-of-the-art facility for housing high-value detainees such as Khalid Sheik Mohammed. This facility could easily accommodate fresh captures ready for quick exploitation.
The only reason not to bring terrorists to Guantanamo is to maintain the fiction that the administration is closing the facility.

As I explained in this post, I actually agree with Thiessen that it’s time for Obama to embrace Guantanamo–albeit for different reasons than he talks about in this column. But I wonder if he truly understands the magnitude of the suggestion he is making here.

Continue reading Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare