Opinion Outpost Mar. 1


Closing Gitmo

From a security perspective, it is a rallying cry for our enemies, a recruitment tool for terrorists and an embarrassment of our ideals. From a fiscal perspective it makes no sense — it is egregiously expensive compared to civilian prisons in the United States.

As someone who has been in homeland security and counterterrorism for several decades now, I believe that Guantanamo’s purpose has run its course.

—  Juliette Kayyem

Under the Obama plan, moving the military prison that’s now in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is largely a change of ZIP code. Prisoners won’t suddenly have a fresh array of legal rights and protections.

But closing Gitmo would mark a change: It would help improve America’s reputation, and spare Obama’s successor a fractious and increasingly irrelevant debate.

— Editorial Board
MetroWest Daily News

Obama has about as much chance of getting his wish on Gitmo as he does in getting a vote on a Supreme Court nomination before he leaves office.

Ain’t gonna happen.

If the U.S. is going to be at war, with little sign of that abating given the rise of ISIS, it needs a place for captives.

—  Editorial Board
The State Journal-Register

Gitmo has been a 14-year blight on the American reputation for justice and respect for human dignity. The sporadic attempts at conducting trials of some of the detainees have been a treadmill to nowhere, and the prison camp itself is costly (some $450 million a year for a facility that now contains 91 inmates).

The United States can and should do better. But Congress has consistently repelled efforts to create an option.

— Editorial Board
Mankato Free Press

President Obama is no closer to shuttering the prison in Cuba today than he was when he announced his intention to do so as a candidate for president in 2008 or when he signed an executive order in 2009 calling for Gitmo’s closure “as soon as practicable.”

… When Obama leaves office next year, all signs point to the departing president handing the Guantanamo conundrum to his successor.

— Editorial Board 
Bangor Daily News

Republican lawmakers all too often have been reflexive and thoughtless in their opposition to closing Guantánamo, one of the most shameful chapters in America’s recent history. Closing the prison by the end of the year is feasible. It would make the United States safer, help restore America’s standing as a champion of human rights and save taxpayers millions of dollars.

— Editorial Board 
The New York Times

Clinton’s transcripts

Hillary Clinton had a chance to put to rest swirling questions about her paid speeches to audiences such as Goldman Sachs during last week’s final debate before Tuesday’s primary in New Hampshire. She pointedly refused to take it.

There will be a tendency … to assume that Clinton’s unwillingness to release her speech transcripts is evidence that she was up to no good in those addresses.

I struggle to imagine that someone as savvy and political as Clinton would do anything even close to that. t

— Chris Cillizza 
The Washington Post

I expect that the transcripts, if they are released, will be anticlimactic and that the objectively most embarrassing revelation will be that Clinton gave the same speech to different audiences.

The transcripts of Clinton’s speeches function for her critics as a kind of MacGuffin, an intrinsically unimportant document or object in a movie that nevertheless advances the plot. The plot here is the allegation that Clinton is a “corporatist” with compromising ties to Wall Street.

— Michael McGough
Los Angeles Times

Hillary needs to release transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs. People need to see what she said to Wall Street.

With nine of her 10 biggest donors being Wall Street entities, and given the fact that these are the folks responsible for the near collapse of the world economy, shouldn’t we know what Hillary told the team at Goldman Sachs — the company recently fined $5 billion by the government? And don’t forget, we the taxpayers bailed them out and paid for their fiasco.

— Paul David Ring
Tallahassee Democrat

Aren’t there some sources of lecture-circuit money that a candidate ought to disdain? Millions of Americans lost their homes after banks churned out faulty mortgages and securities backed by home loans that borrowers could not possibly afford.

Clinton might have avoided this predicament by deciding not to feed at the Wall Street trough after leaving public office. Now the best she can do is come clean with the transcripts and let the voters judge.

— Editorial Board 
USA Today

Why do voters need to know what Hillary told the banks? Because it was Wall Street that was responsible for the 2008 recession, making life worse for most Americans. We need to know what, if anything, she promised these behemoths.

… Big banks and large contributors don’t give their money away for nothing.

— Marjorie Cohn
The Huffington Post

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