Several days ago President George W. Bush (w stands for What-Am-I-Doing) declared that he wants to close Guantanamo Bay soon, but he's waiting for a ruling from the Supreme Court. Yesterday the court ruled against the administration with respect to how the prisoners are to be prosecuted.
This prompted a stupefying exchange yesterday between a press gaggle reporter and Mr. Snow regarding the disparity between the President's words, intentions, and actions in re: Guantanamo Bay Detention Center. What it appears to highlight is that the President doesn't know what to do about the mess he has created in Guantanamo Bay, what yesterday's Supreme Court ruling truly means, or exactly how to pull his head out of his arse.
In short, he still wants to close it, but it's not about to close. That, as you can imagine, puts ol' T. Snow in a bit of a pickle.
The abbreviated to-and-fro goes a little something like this:
Q: The President said before that he was waiting for the Supreme Court ruling before he would make any comments about it, but he also said that he really wanted to close it soon. So where do we stand with that?
MR. SNOW: Correct, and the ruling -- the President never said he wanted to -- he said he wants to close Guantanamo. He didn't say he wanted to close it quickly, because there are some practical considerations. There are approximately...well...as quickly as possible...I believe. (huh?) There's a difference, because you have a whole series of considerations. There's nothing in this opinion that dictates closing down Guantanamo. We're studying very carefully what other implications there may be.
Q Forgive me, Jim. The President has said, I want to close Guantanamo --
MR. SNOW: Yes.
Q -- I'm waiting for this decision. You're just now saying, this doesn't mean we close Guantanamo. Isn't that --
MR. SNOW: No, because he wanted to see the decision, and I think what the decision has done...for instance, in the case of Mr. Hamdan...is it's now reverting it back to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Q For the record, the President still stands by the idea that he wants to close Guantanamo Bay.
MR. SNOW: Absolutely. Yes, that hasn't changed.
Q Then as far as the congressional authorization, could you just flesh out for me-
MR. SNOW: I wish I could. I think what it means is that they want to make sure that Congress authorizes, pursuant to Congress' obligations when it comes to declaring war and laying conditions for a war, it wants Congress to authorize the way to proceed forward in terms of bringing to justice those who have been brought in from the battlefield.
The practical considerations to which Mr. Snow alludes pertain specifically to how we've fucked these guys up mentally over the past four years. Where they were once kinda dangerous, now they are truly deranged and quite, er, agitated with the US. The administration claims that many of their home countries have called "No backsies" and refuse to take them back (or will take them back and whack their heads off.)
Clearly the administration is operating on a moment-to-moment basis.