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Jeff Sessions and the Case for Eternal War

Following up on Dave’s post about the GOP push to keep Guantanamo detainees out of Kalamazoo schoolyards, here’s Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) on Fox News yesterday, arguing the timeframe for keeping those detainees under U.S. watch on Cuba. Here’s a hint: It would extend precisely forever.

SESSIONS: [White House officials] don’t know what to do with these prisoners. It’s a difficult question for them. They’ve gotten themselves into a box and they’ve got to figure their way out. But I’ll tell you, under the law that we passed several years ago, a person that’s been trained in a terrorist — by a terrorist organization — cannot emigrate to the United States. And so now we’re taking people out of Guantanamo, bringing them and releasing them in the United States … And so this is a very direct violation of the law of the United States Congress. I do not see how they can get around this.

FOX: All right. Do you agree we can’t hold them forever?

SESSIONS: Well, as long as they represent a threat to the United States and we’re in a state of war, I think they can be held.

Two questions: (1) How is it that it’s the Obama administration that’s gotten itself “into a box” for vowing to close Guantanamo, rather than the Bush administration for opening it? And (2) because we never officially declared war in this fight, when exactly will the non-war end?

Attorney General Eric Holder told lawmakers today that the administration considers about 30 of the 241 detainees currently being held at the Guantanamo Bay facility not to be terrorists. Still awaiting Sessions’ suggestion about what to do with them.

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