During his first week in office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order requiring that the Guantanamo Bay detention facility be closed within a year. Later communications from his office disclose that he hasn't yet fully explored the potentially negative consequences of closing the facility. The problem, he said, is more complicated than it first appeared. This raises a number of questions, Mr. Gibbs:
--How can President Obama credibly maintain that the issue is more complicated than he thought, when people have been raising these problems for years? Is he just now discovering that there are serious consequences involved, or did he already know and finesse the issue during the campaign for political purposes? If he didn't know (and even more so if he did know), doesn't he owe former President George W. Bush an apology for his unfair criticisms? Doesn't he owe the American people an explanation as to how he could possibly have been unaware of such rudimentary aspects of this fundamentally important national security issue?
--Given that he now concedes there are unexplored complications, wasn't it precipitous and imprudent of him to issue the closure order? What if further research indicates there are no reasonable alternatives other than to bring these prisoners to the U.S. mainland and grant them the full panoply of constitutional rights? Or does he actually favor full-blown constitutional rights for terrorists? If so, will he not be leading America back to its pre-Sept. 11, 2001, mindset, which treated terrorism as a law enforcement matter rather than a military one?
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