Crossposted from Antemedius
On January 22, 2009 newly inaugurated President Barack Obama to great fanfare signed an Executive Order requiring that the Guantanamo Bay prison “shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of this order“.
That was more than three months ago.
Today the Wall Street Journal reports that:
Top House Democrats raised tensions with the White House on a key foreign policy goal, rebuffing a request for funding to begin closing the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
President Barack Obama has sought $80 million to begin the process of closing the controversial detention facility, as part of broader legislation needed to continue funding for the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Unveiling the House version of war spending bill, House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D., Wisc.) didn’t include the funds, complaining that the administration has not yet developed a clear plan to wind down operations at Guantanamo and relocate the detainees, either abroad or in the U.S.
“When they have a plan, they’re welcome to come back and talk to us,” Mr. Obey said.
Mr. Obama has issued an executive order ordering the facility be shut down in one year. The administration still has some authority to shift dollars around the budget to help begin the process. But Mr. Obey suggested a “concrete plan” will be needed before lawmakers approve any direct funding to shutter the facility.
The White House had no immediate comment on Mr. Obey’s bill.
When asked in late April about President Obama’s plans to shut down the controversial “war on terror” prison, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said “I think that question is still open“.