The Campaign Spot

Is Obama Really Not Going to Offer a Detainee Plan Tomorrow?

A release from House Minority Leader John Boehner asks:

About 24 hours after Congress overwhelmingly refused to provide the Administration funding to close the Guantanamo Bay terrorist prison, President Obama will deliver a major address on the future of the terrorists held there.  After FBI Director Robert Mueller today confirmed that he has “concerns” about importing terrorists from Guantanamo, will this be the long-awaited moment when the President will finally outline a plan for what to do with the terrorists at Guantanamo?  Will this be the moment that the President lays out an overarching strategy for confronting the terrorist threat and reassuring our intelligence professionals that the Administration is on their side?

The early word from Marc Ambinder is that no, President Obama will not be giving a location of where the detainees will be going when Guantanamo Bay closes. Instead, he’ll talk about “the values and the institutions we hold dear.”

Except we’ve heard, constantly, from President Obama about “the values and the institutions we hold dear” since he started running for president in January 2007. We haven’t heard anything specific about one of the key questions at the heart of this policy change: If not Gitmo, then where?

Obviously, this speech could be different when we hear it tomorrow. But it sounds suspiciously like voting “present” when faced with a difficult choice.

UPDATE: Responding to my incredulity, Ambinder agrees that Obama has given this “values and institutions we hold dear” speech before, adding, “This speech is largely, I think, a speech for a Democratic audience.”


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