Several people snark that this represents yet another instance of the Obama Administration flailing uselessly until finally coming to the realization that George W. Bush had it right all along. In retrospect, though, Bush left out something vital that the new Executive Order addresses. From ProPublica:
The White House is preparing an Executive Order on indefinite detention that will provide periodic reviews of evidence against dozens of prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, according to several administration officials.
Tell the truth and shame the Devil: despite righteous indignation, the issue was never establishment of guilt or innocence for the gits of Gitmo. What the leftoids have wanted all along is a platform for posturing, where they could wail about the essential vileness of Western Civilization and the guilt of the United States for every ill effect on the planet, and cry out America delenda est! with solemn sanctimony. They never intended to let the terrorists go — more precisely, they never gave a damn whether the terrorists walked or got executed, because the actual people existed for them only as convenient nails to hang their expositions and we-are-to-blame breast-beating from.
What Obama & Co. get right that Bush did not is the “periodic reviews of evidence”. Once a year, the lawyers, apologists, and self-declared Guardians of the American Way will be granted a stage upon which to demonstrate their eloquence in declaring the Evil at the Heart of the West. Conveniently enough, just enough prisoners have been selected for “prolonged detention” to allow a new “review” every week, with annual time off for the America-haters.
The scheme has a deficiency: it isn’t public enough. There will, no doubt, be reporters at the review hearings, but it will be difficult to make them prominent enough to satisfy the participants’ urge for political theater. A possible solution presents itself.
Appoint three judges to hold the hearings, and find or construct a suitably photogenic courtroom, perhaps modeled on the Kremlin facility for show trials of Public Enemies in the Thirties. Perhaps the relevant prisoner could be ensconced in a chrome-plated cell, wearing his orange boiler suit. Each week during prime time, broadcast the summations of testimony and argument, with the judges awarding points for style and content, ultimately resulting in a grade 1..10 for overall effect. Add Internet and telephone polling of the audience. Once a quarter, play excerpts from the arguments of the highest-graded participants, with audience polling for Favorite Denouncer, Best Sob Story, and the like. What to offer as prizes is a bit problematic, but of course money is always good. The real prize would be the exposure.
It wouldn’t be the highest-rated show around, but given decent production values and a bit of promotion it might draw a three or four percent share, enough to support it as a cable program. CAIR and the NGOs would be ecstatic — they would have a chance to present their arguments in the clearest possible fashion to the largest possible audience.
Let the gits go? Nevah happen. But, then, that isn’t the point.