Monday, July 03, 2006

What Ever Happened To Advanced Planning?

Just a small question: Given the President's stated desire to "close" Gitmo, why didn't the W, Rove and Co do any advance planning to anticipate the ruling from the SCOTUS? Certainly, the decision is complex and complicates the matter, but you could have anticipated that there would be two or so options - and given the dualistic modus operandi for thinking in the Rove and Co, fairly easy to predict. A) Proceed as planned (preferably within the law), B) stop all proceedings and do something different. But, no, we must continue to wait for them to figure out their ass from their elbow:
Q What has the President decided to do about the Supreme Court rulings on military commissions?

MR. SNOW: The military commissions -- really, we're still trying to explore all the options. As we mentioned last week, there are two basic sets of options. One is to proceed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Also, members of Congress are acting to respond to what amounted to the invitation of the Supreme Court to proceed with some way of finding and authorizing legislation for military commissions. Continuing to examine all options. There is no final decision at this point about which way to proceed, but, obviously, having to figure out some way to move ahead toward getting justice for those in Guantanamo in a manner in keeping with the Supreme Court's decision.

Q Why doesn't he just stick, then, with the Courts Martial?

MR. SNOW: As I said, he may, but they're examining all options to figure out the best and most appropriate ways to do it.

Q Who has he been talking to on the Hill about this?

MR. SNOW: I don't know about specific conversations. I know that members of the administration -- and I talked about this yesterday -- Steve Hadley talked at the end of last week with Senator McCain. I know Senators McCain, Graham, many others, have been in conversations with members of the President's team. I don't know about any specific conversations the President has had.

Q Is this something you'd want to try to do this year, or can it be --

MR. SNOW: Yes, I mean, what's going to -- I think you want to get this moving as rapidly as possible, otherwise you have, essentially, a detentions policy. And the most important thing is to try to bring people to justice. Having said that, it's a detentions policy, there is still the continuous and ongoing effort to repatriate many of those who are at Guantanamo. One of the problems is the reluctance of some of the host governments to take back some of those. So we're looking at ways to try to repatriate a number of those who are still at Guantanamo.

Q Do you think that proceeding under the Uniform Code of Military Justice would handicap the government in a --

MR. SNOW: You know, that's -- again, rather than trying to play through all the considerations from here, why don't we just wait and see what decision they come up with. I think at that point, we can game out what the decisions were or what the considerations were. But able legal minds at this point are still doing their very best to try to figure out what is the best way to conduct operations that are consistent with national security imperatives, and at the same time, also proceed with rendering justice for those at Guantanamo.

Q Has the President expressed a preference?

I may be going out on a limb here, and call me crazy, but it looks a lot like these folks are trying to line up the ducks to usurp the decision by the SCOTUS. It will be fun to see how they engineer it, and whether or not the spineless Democrats actually stop them.

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