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Clinton Behind Obama’s Plan To Close Gitmo

- October 11, 2015

In An August 2010 White House Meeting, Clinton Chastised White House Aides, Saying “We Are Throwing The President’s Commitment To Close Guantánamo Into The Trash Bin. … We Are Doing Him A Disservice By Not Working Harder On This.” “One of those occasions was at a White House meeting of Obama’s national-security principals in August 2010. ‘We are throwing the president’s commitment to close Guantánamo into the trash bin,’ she chastised White House aides, according to three participants in the meeting. ‘We are doing him a disservice by not working harder on this.’” (Daniel Klaidman, “How Gitmo Imprisoned Obama,” Newsweek, 5/15/13)

Right Before Clinton Stepped Down As Secretary Of State, She Gave President Obama A Two-Page Memo With “Practical Suggestions For Moving Ahead On Gitmo.” “One recent plea, two sources told Newsweek, came from Hillary Clinton, who, just before she left office in January 2013, sent a two-page confidential memo to Obama about Guantánamo. Clinton had, during her years in the administration, occasionally jumped into the fray to push her colleagues to do more on the issue… But at the end of the day, Clinton had little leverage to get the White House to act. Now, in one of her last moves as secretary of State, she was making a final effort to prod her boss to do more. Her memo was replete with practical suggestions for moving ahead on Gitmo.” (Daniel Klaidman, “How Gitmo Imprisoned Obama,” Newsweek, 5/15/13)

  • “[Clinton] Was Making A Final Effort To Prod Her Boss To Do More.” “But at the end of the day, Clinton had little leverage to get the White House to act. Now, in one of her last moves as secretary of State, she was making a final effort to prod her boss to do more.”  (Daniel Klaidman, “How Gitmo Imprisoned Obama,” Newsweek, 5/15/13)

In The Memo, Clinton Urged Obama To Appoint A High-Level Official To Be In Charge Of Closing Guantanamo And To Use “National-Security Waivers” So He Could Bypass Congress. “Her memo was replete with practical suggestions for moving ahead on Gitmo. Chief among them: Obama needed to appoint a high-level official to be in charge of the effort, someone who had clout and proximity to the Oval Office. Further, Clinton argued that Obama could start transferring the 86 detainees who’d already been cleared for release. (Congress has imposed onerous restrictions on the administration’s ability to transfer Gitmo detainees—including a stipulation that the secretary of Defense certify that detainees sent to other countries would not engage in acts of terrorism. In her memo, Clinton pointed out that the administration could use ‘national-security waivers’ to circumvent the restriction.)” (Daniel Klaidman, “How Gitmo Imprisoned Obama,” Newsweek, 5/15/13)


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