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Eric Holder: Seriously, We’re Going to Close Gitmo Pretty Soon

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By Doug Powers  •  September 20, 2011 04:07 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Gitmo has taken a back seat to other issues lately, so maybe it’s a strategical error on the AG’s part to come out and remind those whose attention has since been distracted from the issue that the place is in fact still open for business (although it’s not as if Holder has anything else to do).

In spite of that, the Attorney General wants everybody to know that he still hasn’t forgotten about following through with President Obama’s executive order to close Gitmo by January…. of 2010:

BRUSSELS (AP) — U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday that the Obama administration will do its utmost to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay before next year’s presidential elections despite political opposition.

Holder said at the European Parliament that even if the current administration fails to close it ahead of elections, it will continue to press ahead if it wins the November 2012 presidential vote.

I’m not sure how Holder’s renewed commitment will sit even with other members of the administration, who recently backed off a wildly unpopular and ill-conceived “civil trials for terrorist suspects” crusade. This would drag the “what will we do with the detainees if it closes” debate back into the conversation just as the election season is starting to heat up. Nothing will reel in the Illinois undecideds faster for Obama than by telling them he’s going to start keeping terrorists in their backyard.

In the spirit of bipartisanship, if the Obama administration is serious about putting Gitmo out of business, I’d like to offer a suggestion that is tried and true: Declare the prison a “green jobs” hub, loan it a half billion taxpayer dollars, then hire the detainees to manufacture and sell solar panels and windmill parts. The place would be shuttered before next summer.

**Written by Doug Powers

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