Friday, May 03, 2013
Obama says he wants to close Gitmo, but insists that Congress won't let him. But does he even need permission from Congress? The answer to that boils down to this: Is the detention facility under the jurisdiction of the Cuban government or the US government? Legally, Cuba maintains sovereignty over the bay, but the Cuban-American Treaty of 1903 gives the US the power to lease Guantanamo in perpetuity. The Castro regime wants the US to leave and insists that they have the right to terminate the lease and evict the US Navy. If the State Department decides to recognize that Cuba has jurisdiction, Obama can close the base on the grounds that we don't have permission to stay. On the other hand, if the United States has jurisdiction over the bay, then everybody there is protected by the Bill of Rights. The President can and should place the Constitution over the wishes of Congress in this matter.