Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mike Huckabee -- Not ready for primetime

No, this isn't "Mike Huckabee Bashing Day" here, but it's hard to ignore the news he's involved with. I happened to come across this post at Hot Air, and it got me thinking that Huckabee isn't ready for the big chair. Yesterday's WaPo has an interesting tidbit in it's story about Huckabee being a frontrunner. Here's the key 'graph:

After the Iowa poll showed that Republican voters like him but found him much less “presidential” and “electable” than Romney, Huckabee sought to build his foreign policy credentials, meeting with a group of retired generals who are in Des Moines to urge the 2008 candidates to commit to opposing torture. After the meeting, Huckabee joined Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in declaring his opposition to the interrogation procedure known as “waterboarding,” and said he would support closing the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a contrast with the other leading Republicans.

First, he can declare his opposition to waterboarding all he wants, but it's still legal, and it's an effective interrogation tool. This is where we disagree with both Huckabee and McCain. This procedure isn't torture. Congress had the ability to declare it such under the Military Commissions Act of 2006, but balked at it. So, until such a time occurs where it is declared illegal, it's legal, and it will be used.

Secondly, he wants to close Gitmo. Seriously, is this guy for real? Bryan has a boatload of questions for Huckabee on this issue:

Is the Post’s account accurate? Is it true that you now favor closing Gitmo? If so, what are the details of that position? President Bush has also said that he would like to close Gitmo, but recognizes that the detainees still have to be kept out of the war or they will once again pose a threat to US troops and civilians around the world, so he has kept the facility open in the face of worldwide condemnation. Was he right to do that? What would President Huckabee have done? Would you close it as soon as possible, would you close it only at the cessation of hostilities with al Qaeda, or do you have some other timing in mind? If your position is to close the facility as soon as possible, what would you do with the inmates held there? Would you put the likes of Khalid Sheik Mohammed in the US civilian criminal justice system, as many Democrats and the ACLU argue should be done? Would you attempt to repatriate the inmates to their countries of origin? Are you aware that the Bush administration has tried to repatriate many of the Gitmo inmates, and their countries of origin don’t want them? Are you aware that about a dozen former Gitmo inmates who have been released have turned up on battlefields, fighting once again against US and coalition forces?

Now, let's add this little juicy morsel from his own mouth to the mix:

I’ve been to Guantanamo, I was there, I guess it’s been about a year and a half ago. I think the problem with Guantanamo is not in that its facilities are inadequate. It’s the symbol that it represents. It’s clearly become a symbol to the rest of the world as a place that has become problematic for us as a nation. I was quite frankly impressed with the quality of the facilities and even the attention to care that was given to the detainees, but that aside, it doesn’t alter that Guantanamo to the rest of the world is a symbol that is not in our best interests to continue pursuing.

He's not upset with anything that's going on at Gitmo. He's using the same old argument that so many other people have in demanding it's closure. It's the symbolism that has him irked. When pressed on where he'd rather see the detainees go, his campaign responded to Hot Air's request with the following statement:

The men and women of our armed forces have served and acted honorably in their duties at Guantanamo Bay and we greatly appreciate their service in keeping our nation free, safe, and secure. I have visited Guantanamo Bay and know that the detainees are more than adequately cared for. My concern is that the facility has become a distraction from our Global War on Terror and that other facilities, like Fort Leavenworth, can serve the same purpose without the controversy.

As for specific procedures concerning detainee adjudication, like all Americans, I await the Supreme Court's ruling in the Boumediene case, which will determine if detainees have habeus corpus rights. As President, my overriding concern in dealing with the suspected terrorists will always be our national security interests. I want to reiterate, as I stated in June, that my first priority will be the protection of the American people and ensuring that all suspected terrorists remain in our custody.

So he wants these dangerous illegal combatants here on US soil. Ain't that a hoot? They were put in Gitmo so they wouldn't be here. If they managed to escape the facility at Leavenworth (highly unlikely, but a possibility nonetheless) you would have terrorists running loose in the country. That's a brilliant strategy Governor Huckabee.

Furthermore, I'm guessing he doesn't pay too much attention to the Supreme Court, and the cases they've decided regarding the prisoners at Gitmo. If he had, he'd know that the lawyers the detainees have have been arguing for habeas corpus rights for their clients, and that the high court has granted that in certain cases. But bringing them into the country will only embolden those lawyers to increase the demand that ALL of them receive those rights. (To date, the Supreme Court has granted it only to those detainees identified as US citizens; a move to ensure that they receive their proper Constitutional protections.)

This isn't a game, governor. We're at war, and the last thing we want to do is give our enemies any sort of quarter. His ideas regarding Gitmo are foolish and immature, belying the fact that he really doesn't have a clue. His opinions regarding waterboarding are noted, but are equally unqualified and inane. The man isn't ready for the cat bird seat, and this is just one more example of why he won't win the nomination.

Publius II


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