Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Just Because

The AP reports that Eric Holder was impressed with Guantánamo Bay.

Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday the Guantanamo detention center is a well-run, professional facility that will be difficult to close-but he’s still going to do it.

Well, naturally. The Obama administration is only interested in keeping poorly run enterprises going. There’s more:

He said he did not witness any rough treatment of detainees, and in fact found the military staff and leadership performing admirably.

“I did not witness any mistreatment of prisoners. I think, to the contrary, what I saw was a very conscious attempt by these guards to conduct themselves in an appropriate way,” he said.

Talk about being a “coward.” The head legal advisor of the United States government witnesses our most important detention facility being run efficiently, legally, and humanely, and can’t even bring himself to question its gratuitous closing. After all, President Obama’s executive order calling for the shuttering of Gitmo alludes to problems that are vitiated by Holder’s assessment. The executive order states:

In view of the significant concerns raised by these detentions, both within the United States and internationally, prompt and appropriate disposition of the individuals currently detained at Guantánamo and closure of the facilities in which they are detained would further the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and the interests of justice.

How’s that for vague? These “significant concerns” are never identified, nor are the supposed national security benefits of shutting down Guantánamo. This administration, we’ve learned, need not explain itself, get into specifics, or justify its actions. Spending a few hundred million dollars of taxpayers’ money on digital cable is good just because — next question. Federal rationing of healthcare is good just because — next question. Closing an above-board, admirably run detention facility is good just because — next question.

Accountability in government requires, at the very least, a cover story to explain actions. The Obama administration isn’t even bothering with transparent “official” explanations. Things are too dire, and the president is too smart, so we’ll just have to marvel at this “new era,” stand in awe of Barack Obama’s eloquence and say yes to everything — even in the face of contradictory evidence. Next move: leaving Iraq just because.