The DoD appropriations bill yesterday contains a forceful NIMBY prohibition against using the funds to transfer Guantanamo Bay prisoners to the United States. The language in the bill reads:
None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act or any prior Act may be used to transfer, release, or incarcerate any individual who was detained as of October 1, 2009, at Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to or within the United States or its territories.
Congress' opposition, along with a longer than anticipated review process, is part of the reason the prison won't be closed by the target date, something Eric Holder admitted yesterday but that we've known for some time.
So how serious of an obstacle was yesterday's move? Ken Gude at the Center for American Progress says that "it's more of a nuisance than a problem," adding that "[t]he real issue will be getting the administration's "plan" [for closing Gitmo] approved by Congress, that's when the real heavy lifting will begin. Everything before then is just a lot of noise." The administration hasn't submitted a proposal for closing Gitmo yet.
-- A. Serwer