GOP Spokesman Rush Limbaugh, reading from an Associated Press story yesterday said, “President Barack Obama’s allies in the Senate will not provide funds to close the Guantanamo Bay prison next January, a top Democratic official said Tuesday. With debate looming on Obama’s spending request to cover military and diplomatic operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the official says Democrats will deny the Pentagon and Justice Department $80 million to relocate Guantanamo’s 241 detainees.”
Limbaugh immediately questioned why the Democrats in Congress would turn on the President, “Now, why would this be?” he asked. “Obama said he’s going to close Club Gitmo in January 2010. Now, the Democrats say sorry, pal, we’re not going to give you the money for that.”
Problem is El Rushbo, under his usual motus operandi (MO for all you ditto heads), only told a sliver of truth about what was actually said. Had Maha Rushdi dug a little deeper he would have found that what Democratic Party leaders in the Congress actually said was that the Senate was not going to fund closing Gitmo until it saw what the administration’s plan was., “The administration has not come up with a plan at this point,” said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, or No. 2 Democrat in the Senate. “I think Guantanamo should be closed and we have to wait for the president’s direction on what happens to the detainees.”
Durbin said that he could support transferring detainees to U.S. prisons. “Our prisons are filled with dangerous people, including terrorists. And not a single one (terrorist) has escaped.”
Durbin said the Congress simply wasn’t going to fund the closing blindly, “The feeling was at this point we were defending the unknown. We were being asked to defend a plan that hasn’t been announced. And the administration said, ‘Understood. Give us time to put together that plan and we’ll come to you in the next appropriations bill.'”
Rush further bloviated on the topic asking, “Why would the Democrats turn on Obama on this? Why? They don’t want to lose in 2010, and the polling data on closing Guantanamo must not be on the same page with Obama’s desire to do so.”
Well Rush actually polling data shows just the opposite, there’s a Washington Post-ABC News poll showing that 53 percent of Americans said the United States should shutter the controversial facility in Cuba and find another way to deal with the prisoners there. While 42 percent of those polled, including 69 percent of Republicans, said terrorism suspects should remain at the prison. Most Democrats (68 percent) and independents (55 percent) said they would prefer another way to handle the detainees. So basically the country seems to fall in line on this issue along the same political lines as the last presidential election. No surprise there. One side wants to try to do things the right way, the legal way, while the other wants to do everything based on fear mongering. You figure out which party fits which description.
Rush said, “Fear is the reason, because the word is out that if we close Gitmo that some of these clowns are going to be released in the United States, and people are not excited about that.”
No one Rush, repeat NO ONE has ever said that anyone convicted, or currently suspected, of being a terrorist at Gitmo were going to be released in the United States. Some of the prisoners may be transferred to federal prisons in the U.S., but no one has said they would be released here. This is once again Rush playing on the fear of his listeners.
Rush, Hannity, et al jumped on the story some time ago that some of the Chinese Muslims known as Uighurs held at Gitmo might be permitted to live in the United States, Chinese Muslims cleared by the Bush Administration as not being terrorists. The part of being cleared by the Bush Administration as not being terrorists is the part Rush, Hannity, et al always conveniently leave out when discussing the release of terrorists into America.
So, what have we learned today?
First, Democratic Party Members of Congress have not refused to fund closing Gitmo; it said they want to see the Obama Administration’s plan for doing so before it will discuss funding.
Second, Rush only tells his listeners what he wants them to hear, what he hopes and wishes to be true. That the Democratic Party is splintering, and that Americans are living in fear. You hold on to those happy thoughts Rush, those and some fairy dust and one day you’ll fly. Oh wait, you have oxycotton for that.