He said he would cut the U.S. deficit in half and close Guantanamo Bay if he was elected, but nothing could be further from the truth as Barack Obama vacations in Hawaii just weeks after being re-elected.
The deficit actually increased by nearly $6 trillion during Obama’s first term and his second term begins with no federal budget being passed during the past three years of his administration.
As for Guantanamo Bay, Obama signed a defense bill late Wednesday that includes major restrictions on the transfer of detainees out of the facility that has no plans to close anytime soon.
President Obama had threatened to veto the $633 billion National Defense Authorization Act but like last year, and the year before, and the year before that, the controversial prison for combat enemies of the U.S. remains open for business after Obama reversed course and signed the legislation.
Liberals and many Democrats are generally concerned that the rights of terrorists imprisoned at GITMO are being denied because they lack access to lawyers and are mistreated by the U.S. military and CIA interrogators. Republicans argue that giving terrorists rights equal to or similar to those of American citizens will result in circus trials designed to ridicule America on a world stage.
“Removing the carve-out for plea agreements really weakens an already illegitimate military commission system,” said Laura Pitter, a counterterrorism adviser at Human Rights Watch. “How is the government going to make plea agreements with detainees when it is not even authorized to follow through on promises already made?”
Obama’s left-wing critics say he is unwilling to invest political capital to shut down GITMO.
“President Obama has utterly failed the first test of his second term, even before Inauguration Day,” said Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “He also has jeopardized his ability to close Guantanamo during his presidency.
Regardless of one's view, the President failed to close GITMO, and in the process made sure it will not close in the foreseeable future.
The Guantanamo Bay Naval Base (GITMO), located in the Oriente Province in southern Cuba, is the oldest standing U.S. military installation outside of its territory.