Thursday, July 22, 2010

Steny Hoyer's Turnabout on Guantanamo


House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, today:

Gitmo shut-down not a priority, top Dem says

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer acknowledged Tuesday that closing down the Guantanamo Bay prison is not a top priority for congressional Democrats.

In response to a question from a reporter about where shutting down Gitmo stands, Hoyer said, "I think that's not an item, as you point out, of real current discussion. There's some very big issues confronting us - dealing with growing the economy and Iraq and Afghanistan."

Hoyer added, "I think you're not going to see it discussed very broadly in the near term."

How can it be that it's not a priority to end something which -- as Hoyer put it in 2007 -- "threatens the safety of U.S. citizens and military personnel detained abroad"? Why would Democrats like Hoyer be so willing to jeopardize the safety of American citizens and the lives of Our Troops abroad by de-prioritizing something which (at least if the 2007 Hoyer was to be believed) directly threatens them? Also, we had wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2007 along with a whole variety of other problems -- if those issues now justify de-prioritizing the closing of Guantanamo, why wasn't that also true in 2007 when Hoyer (and most other Democrats ) were vocally demanding that Bush close the camp?

This, needless to say, is par for the course: policies which establishment Democrats pretended to vehemently oppose when out of power magically transformed into policies they embrace when in power. Ironically, in response to the 2007 Hoyer letter, a Bush spokesperson "said the letter was received and noted that Bush has said he wants to close Guantanamo. 'A number of steps need to take place before that can happen, and we're continuing to work on those,' she said." Sound familiar?


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